There's no shortage of MFi controllers for iPhones, but almost all of them either prop the phone up above the controls or stand alone as separate accessories (where the phone basically turns into a tiny TV). Gamevice's approach strikes us as the most logical, with the controller gripping against either side of the iPad mini, or (starting in October) the latest iPhones and iPad Airs.
This makes for a more unified design scheme. The handlebar/Gamevice approach is less like a separate accessory clamped (somewhat awkwardly) below your device, and more like something that transforms your phone or tablet into an iOS-running PS Vita.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Gamevice announced its new accessories today, one of which will support all of Apple's 2014 and 2015 smartphones (the iPhones 6s and 6s Plus, as well as last year's 6 and 6 Plus). The other works with the iPad Air 1 and iPad Air 2. You can already buy a Gamevice for the iPad mini (stay tuned for our review).
Though dedicated portables generally still have a better selection of non-freemium, full console style games (pay US$20-30 and get a full game that's based more on fun than addiction), some sifting through the App Store does yield a decent selection of those kinds of games: the Grand Theft Auto III trilogy, several Lego games and Oceanhorn all come to mind.
If you can live with that tilted ratio of casual/freemium to console/paid games, then MFi accessories like the GameVice could flesh out iOS devices' only other missing piece, quality physical controls. The new versions have all the essentials: four action buttons, dual analog sticks, D-Pad, as well as bumpers and analog triggers.
They have built-in batteries (200 mAh on the iPhone model) and connect to the iOS devices' Lightning ports.
Both the iPhone 6 series and iPad Air series Gamevice controllers will launch later this year (October for the Air, "Q4" for the iPhone version). All versions, including the currently-available iPad mini controller, will ring up for US$100.
Product page: GameviceView gallery - 2 images