‘Low-hanging fruit for Apple and gaming: MFi controllers’

Craig Grannell lays out some of the ways in which Apple botched the MFi controller program, and some of the ways they could improve it.

The original MFi controller release was a mess. Apple seemingly didn’t understand that it was splitting the iOS ecosystem into two camps — games with or without support — and then fragmenting it further, due to offering alternate controller specs. The ‘standard’ controller has a D-pad, four face buttons, and two shoulder buttons. The ‘extended’ controller adds two more shoulder buttons and analogue sticks. Oddly, the industry standard Start and Select buttons were omitted entirely (in favour of Pause, recently itself replaced by Menu on controllers designed for Apple TV), which I have on good authority very much annoyed several developers.

In retrospect, including reduced-layout “Standard” controllers in the MFi controller program seems like a mistake. I don’t particularly care about the absence of Start and Select (and L3 and R3), but Apple should have stuck to a consistent layout.