Xbox controller update makes switching between Xbox and iPhone easier

Xbox Game Pass Ios With Xbox Controller Cropped
Xbox Game Pass Ios With Xbox Controller Cropped (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Xbox is rolling out a new firmware update for a number of its controllers.
  • The update will allow easier pairing between your Xbox and iPhone.

It looks like it's about to get a lot easier to use your Xbox controller with both your Xbox and your iPhone.

Today, Xbox has announced that it is rolling out a new firmware update that brings Bluetooth Low Energy support to Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.

Xbox says that controllers who support the feature can now, with iOS 15, keep their controller paired with both their Xbox and their iPhone. To switch between your Xbox and iPhone, you'll simply double-tap the pairing button on your controller.

These controllers now support Bluetooth Low Energy, which delivers better compatibility across devices and allows for better pairing experiences. You will be able to play wirelessly on Windows 10 PCs, iOS 15+, and Android devices with Bluetooth Low Energy for remote play  from your console or  cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on the go. After installing the firmware update, these controllers will remember one Bluetooth host (e.g., smartphone) and one Xbox Wireless host (e.g., Xbox console), so you can quickly and seamlessly switch between previously connected devices with a simple double tap of the pair button.

This is a huge upgrade to an annoying problem that has existed for iPhone gamers that wanted to use their Xbox controller to play games on the go. Currently, you need to reset the pairing process on your controller each time you switch between your iPhone and your Xbox. That makes it quite the hassle to try and use one controller to game on both devices. It's such a slow and tedious process that many have just bought a second Xbox controller to use with their iPhones. Thankfully, this new firmware update will solve that issue for a lot of users.

Xbox says that this firmware update is rolling out to members of its Xbox Insider Program starting today. It is currently unclear when it will roll out to all Xbox controller owners.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.