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iPhone and iPad become a Switch: iOS 16 brings Joy-Con support

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Apple has repeatedly addressed the topic of gaming at its developer conference WWDC 2022. A few days after the event, a Twitter user found out that the beta version of iOS 16 includes native support for Nintendo's Joy Con and the Switch Pro Controller. Does this mean that the iPad and iPhone will become Switch alternatives?


  • Twitter user "@rileytestut" has discovered extended controller support in iOS 16.
  • Nintendo Joy Con and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller are supported.
  • This opens up new possibilities for emulators and native iOS games

After Apple was ridiculed for a long time for not putting a focus on gaming, there seems to be a turnaround for some time now. At WWDC 2022, which took place on June 5, the company announced new gaming features like easier switching between devices and the improved Metal 3 gaming engine. On Twitter, however, a user now found a new feature.

As "rileytestut" posted a few days ago, the two main Nintendo controllers can be used natively – so without additional apps – with the beta version of iOS 16. This makes it possible to connect Nintendo's Joy Cons and the Switch Pro Controller. For Apple users, this opens up completely new possibilities.

What does native controller support do?

Of course, Nintendo won't start developing games for iOS devices in the future. Instead, the controllers can probably be used for most mobile games with controller support. So if you're already using a Switch at home anyway, you'll be able to use the input devices on your iPhone or iPad as well. So far, this was already possible with Microsoft's Xbox controllers and Sony's DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers.

Apple WWDC 2022
Metal 3 is Apple's new gaming engine, which should bring better mobile games to iPhone and iPad. / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

Another area of application for which the support is exciting: emulators, with which you can play non-native games on iOS. However, you will probably only be able to emulate older Nintendo consoles. Although there are emulator apps that are meant to emulate the Nintendo Switch on iOS, they are supposedly not able to display 3D graphics.

How useful do you find the Nintendo controller support in iOS 16? Is it a useful feature or did Apple rightly not mention it at WWDC? I'm looking forward to your comments!

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Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

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