Last year, a small company called Backbone Labs released arguably the best iPhone game controller on the market right now, the Backbone One. Starting Thursday, you will be able to use this controller with many other devices, including Android phones, although it won’t work exactly as you might expect. and requires a new Backbone Plus subscription to set it up.
Here’s how using the controller with other devices works. The Backbone One is designed to allow you to insert an iPhone in landscape mode into a Lightning port on the right side of the controller. To use the Backbone One with a non-iPhone device, you cannot place it in the controller as it requires plugging it into this Lightning port. Instead, you need to choose the type of device you want to connect it to in the Backbone app’s settings menu, and then connect the device to the controller with a Lightning-to-USB cable. (The Backbone One has a Lightning port to plug in the cable.)
I tested the functionality by connecting the Backbone One to my MacBook Air M1 to play Crossy Road Castle. It worked really well and I had no difficulty crossing dangerous platforms as a tiny voxel chicken. I wasn’t able to test the Backbone One with an Android device, but if it works as well as my Mac, it should be a fully capable game controller. If you unsubscribe from Backbone Plus, your Backbone One controller will still work with your iPhone and the last non-iPhone device you configured it for.
The Backbone Plus subscription offers a lot more benefits than just allowing you to use the controller with other devices. One awesome feature is that you’ll be able to stream to Twitch right from the Backbone app. This means that you will be able to easily stream yourself while playing your favorite mobile game or even streaming a PlayStation or Xbox game on console. In a test I did, the video on my Twitch stream was quite slow, but it could just be due to my network, and I didn’t see any performance issues with my iPhone 12 Mini while streaming.
Backbone is also adding new video recording features to its subscription. You’ll be able to record at 1080p and 60 fps on iOS 15 devices, instead of 30 fps, and there’s a new Smart Record option that lets you hold down the capture button to record the last 15 seconds of your game. Useful games, videos, highlights and more the app now displays information from many different game services instead of just native iOS games, and the search has been improved.
With Backbone Plus, you will be able to use all the software features of the application. New Backbone users will get a free year of service, and if you choose to renew, it will cost $ 49 per year. If you choose not to subscribe, you will still be able to use the Backbone One as an iPhone game controller and the app will still install software updates on the controller, but you will not be able to enjoy other software. features offered with the application.
And current Backbone players are in luck. Each Backbone user who created an account before Thursday will receive a free lifetime subscription to Backbone Plus.