A newly discovered Apple patent should make iOS gamers very happy. First found by Patently Apple, it details an iPhone home button that also houses a built-in joystick.
The patent, entitled Multi-Function Input Device was originally filed in mid-2013 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Inventors are listed as Colin Ely and Fletcher Rothkopf. You can see the entire document here.
While the patented device works like a usual home button, one quick push transforms it into the pictured joystick. Thanks to a spring, pushing it back down converts it back into the home button mode.
As always, the usual caveats apply with any patent filing. Even though Apple has obviously been looking at the technology, that doesnt mean well ever see a built-in joystick added to an iPhone anytime soon.
Even so, Im hopeful that Apple might actually surprise us some day. This type of technology would really help take iOS gaming to the next level.
The iOS compatible game controllers, which were first introduced back with iOS 7, have exactly been well received. But making a controller standard equipment on hardware could really open a new number of possibilities for both developers and gamers.