Quick Hands-On: iOS 13 + Xbox Wireless Controller + Clamp

Posted on October 12, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Mobile, iOS, Android with 5 Comments

Here’s a very quick follow-up to my previous write-up about iOS gaming with an Xbox Wireless Controller. Now, with a clamp that lets you connect your smartphone to the controller.

As I noted in Hands-On: iOS 13 + Xbox Wireless Controller, I had ordered a Dainslef Smartphone Clamp for the Xbox Wireless Controller from Amazon to see whether this $10 addition would improve the mobile gaming experience. As it stands, iOS 13 now supports the Xbox Wireless Controller, as does Android, opening up a new world of possibility.

Also as noted, I’m not super-interested in the kiddie games that Apple Arcade seems to specialize in so far, so I turned to the same first-person shooter, Fortnite, that I experimented with on iPad earlier. This time with the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Dainslef clamp.

Getting Fortnite installed took a lot longer than adding the clamp to the controller. It just clips on logically and has a secure fit.

Curious about how the weight of the phone would impact the controller’s ability to stand upright, I was unsurprised to discover that all of the phones I tested with it caused it to tumble over on the desk. But Dainslef includes a nice little wire support stand that you can pull out to prevent that.

(Pro-tip: Pair your controller to the iPhone or whatever device you’re using before adding the clamp. It covers the pairing button on the controller.)

In use, you can really feel the weight of the controller, so you’ll need to get used to that. I found that resting my arms on my legs as I sat really helped, and that seems like a normal position to use anyway.

But the big deal here, of course, is that it works. This particular clamp seems to really do the job, and given its low price, it’s hard not to recommend it to anyone curious.

Also, I’m still horrible at Fortnite. But I can’t wait to use this with Project xCloud. Or with Call of Duty Mobile. Come on, Activision. Add controller support already.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Quick Hands-On: iOS 13 + Xbox Wireless Controller + Clamp”

  1. SvenJ

    The Amazon product page notes compatibility with some Android phones as well. Didn't know you could pair an Xbox controller with one. Well pairing it via BT shouldn't be surprising, but do Android games support it? Not a gamer myself, but that seems like it would be of interest.

    Not sure about the 'kiddie games' designation Paul puts on Apple Arcade. Maybe that just means you don't get to kill enough people, rather than the difficulty of game play/quality of graphics. Seems though that Apple Arcade will do well if only for the fact it is $5/mo for a family subscription. That fairly trivial a cost for most that can afford iPhones for the family. If it keeps kids entertained in the back seat on a road trip, it's priceless. We just had I Spy, Slug Bug, and look out the window.

  2. Travis

    What classifies a game as a kiddie game for you, no killing? I find the Apple Arcade games to be pretty good quality and enjoy them. Though my wife does say I’m just a big kid. Grindstone is probably my favorite so far. I suggest you try it.