The Case Compatible Gamevice Flex Controller Launches October 25th, Available for Pre-Order Now

I’ve grown from not caring for iOS physical controllers at all to becoming a huge proponent of them, thanks mostly to the fantastic build quality and ease of use of the Backbone controller. Its direct Lightning connection and extendable body makes popping your device in and out a breeze, which means I end up using it just about everyday. Prior to this I would use an Xbox controller with an iPhone clip attachment, but the bulkiness of the controller and the time it took to connect via Bluetooth, as minor as it may be, was enough of a barrier of entry that I rarely made use of it. The Backbone, with its slimmer profile and easy connection, solved those problems for me and is now one of my most beloved accessories.

That being said, one big negative towards the Backbone is that it doesn’t work with iPhones in cases, and as the iPhone 13 Pro showed us last year (and iPhone 14 Pro this year), the design of the Backbone can’t always keep up with the changing dimensions of new mobile device hardware. The bulkier camera bumps on both the iPhone 13 and 14 models didn’t quite fit properly into the Backbone’s cradle, a problem the company has mostly solved with a small adapter that they’ll send to you for free. Still though, what about next year’s iPhone? Or the one after that? Or the one after? With the price of mobile device controllers typically landing around the $100 mark, it would be nice to know they will last into the future as people upgrade to new devices.

It was these reasons that led Gamevice to come up with their latest controller, the Gamevice Flex, which we first posted about in early August. It aims to be compatible with 100% of Apple’s own iPhone cases, as well as a vast majority of all 3rd party cases. It does this by including a number of small adapter pieces that you can change out based on your case and device’s dimensions, and you can see how that works in this short video.

In addition to the main feature of adjustable compatibility for different case and device sizes, Gamevice also touts the Flex for having “console quality buttons", hall effect triggers, and full size joysticks. It also features a 3.5mm headphone jack and, similar to the Backbone and other controllers, it also features a pass-through charging port so you can actually charge your device while it’s cradled in the controller. That is something I’ve really come to appreciate about the Backbone, especially in long gaming sessions with graphically intense, battery draining games. Also similar to the Backbone or Razer Kishi controllers, the Gamevice Flex uses a companion app called Gamevice Live (Free) which aggregates games that have controller support.

Another big reason for owning a physical controller on mobile is for cloud gaming or local streaming from a console or PC. It’s with that in mind that every Gamevice Flex will come with a voucher for one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will allow you to tap into the (quite excellent) Xbox Cloud Gaming service. That voucher is for new Game Pass subscribers only, however, if you pre-order a Gamevice Flex before October 14th, you will actually receive another one month voucher that will give even current subscribers a free month of Ultimate. That also means that new subscribers can combine that voucher with the other one and get two full months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Android users shouldn’t feel left out, as there’s an Android version of the Gamevice Flex too. It features USB-C pass-through charging instead of Lightning, but is otherwise comparable to the iOS version and is said to be highly compatible with many Android devices and cases. You can find links to pre-order either version on the Gamevice website. Or if you prefer Amazon, you can pre-order the iPhone version here or pre-order the Android version here, and since those are affiliate links you get the bonus of helping out TouchArcade at the same time, at no extra cost. Hooray for shameless plugs!

I’ve annoyed many a friend with professing my love for the Backbone controller, but I’ve also convinced more than one of those friends to pick one up, and they’ve now seen the light. That said, I’m always down to check out the competition, especially from those who are attempting to solve some of the shortcomings of the Backbone. Gamevice Flex looks to be doing just that. As noted pre-orders are open now and you’ll want to pre-order before October 14th for that bonus one month voucher for Game Pass Ultimate, and the controllers will officially release later this month on October 25th.