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iOS 16 adds Nintendo Switch Joy-Con support

Apple is adding support for Nintendo Switch controllers in iOS 16, meaning you’ll be able to use your Joy-Cons and your Pro Controller for gaming on your iPhone or iPad this autumn.

We’ve covered all the main beats of Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote address, which was headlined (as always) by a run through of the new iOS. But there are plenty more tidbits emerging now that developers are able to go hands-on with the initial beta.

One such tidbit is the expansion of iOS 16’s Bluetooth game controller support roster. Apple added PlayStation and Xbox controller support in iOS 13 back in 2019, but now Nintendo’s popular hybrid console is joining the party.

Developer Riley Testut has noticed that the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller pairs perfectly with iOS 16 devices in the current build, providing a screenshot of the Bluetooth pairing menu as proof.

In subsequent tweets, Testut points out that single Joy-Con pairing is also possible in iOS 16, while connecting both left and right Joy-Cons pairs them as a single MFi controller. You can even dynamically switch between single and paired configurations by holding the screenshot and home buttons for a few seconds.

While that’s both clever and extremely welcome, it’s the single Joy-Con pairing potential that could prove the most useful here. While Nintendo’s Joy-Cons aren’t the most comfortable or nuanced controllers on the market in isolation, their extremely compact nature would make for an excellent portable iPhone or iPad controller option to bundle into a flight bag or rucksack pocket.

Apple appears to be adding support for a bunch more popular third party controllers with iOS 16, and there are signs that the company making it possible to add more in future without the need to update iOS itself.

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