Review: iOS Game Controller for iPhone & iPad from Gamevice

Jealous of devices like the Nintendo Switch, with their physical controllers? Help is on the way, thanks to Gamevice ($79.95–$99.95). Gamevice is a collapsible/expandable controller that encloses an iPhone. It's somewhat adjustable for different-sized iPhones as long as they aren't in a case. The Gamevice is comfortable to the touch and has handy buttons, joysticks, and a diamond pad. They sell different versions for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices and have a Lightning, microUSB or even USB-C port. The Gamevice supports over 1,000 games and there is a handy reference page on their website.

Related: Editor's Choice: Best 12 iOS Action Gaming Apps of 2017

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There are even branded models available, with optional decals for games like Street Fighter or The Walking Dead, and the Street Fighter one even includes a $5 iTunes gift card so you can purchase the app. Considering it sells for the same price as the base model, that's a no brainer, as you could buy any app you want. You can even use the Gamevice to control devices like DJI Spark drones or specific robotic toys from Sphero! There's also a headphone jack, which is nice. You could spend $10 just for that or $30 for an adapter with a headphone jack and Lightning port so you can charge while listening.

The device itself is powered from your iOS device's Lightning port, and while it doesn't have a built-in battery to charge your iPhone, there is a pass-through Lightning port for charging while in use.

Pros

  • Adjustable for many different sized iPhones
  • Comfortable controls and finish
  • Versions for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices
  • Works with many games
  • Branded models available
  • Pass-through Lightning port for charging
  • Works with drones and certain Sphero-based toys

Cons

  • Only works with naked iPhones
  • Separate version for iPads
  • No battery built in

Final Verdict

If you're feeling envious of friends with their portable gaming devices, like the Nintendo Switch, there's an option for iPhone and iPad users, as well as Android users, thanks to Gamevice.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.