Gaming on the iPhone is becoming more and more popular these days, and there are so many games available on iOS that make this possible. Apple, however, wants to make iPhone gaming even better, and a new patent from the company looks to make that happen.
According to a new patent filed and published by Apple, the next iPhone could come with a built-in joystick. How would it work, exactly? The patent details the design and describes the Home button acting as the joystick, where users can lift up the Home button by pressing down on it to release the clips holding it down. From there, the Home button would left up and rise over the surface of the device.
At that point, users could use it as a miniature joystick of sorts, similar to the joystick on a PSP, and it would be able to move in multiple directions just like a joystick should.
After the user is done gaming, he can press down on the center of the Home button to have it click back into place and use it as a normal Home button.
Of course, it’s not a complete fix for iPhone gaming and physical controls, as the joystick would still be small and not as maneuverable as full-size joysticks. Plus, any serious iPhone gamer would still want to have an external game pad of some kind, as the small Home button joystick just wouldn’t cut it.
However, it would be more than enough for casual iPhone gamers, and I think that’s the market that Apple would want to go after if it made this a reality.
It’s worth noting, though, that many Apple patents never see the light of day, so the possibility of Apple putting a built-in joystick into the iPhone is rather slim, and who knows what design changes Apple would have to make in order to fit in a miniature joystick, but we can’t see this happening anytime soon.
However, Apple is familiar with these types of push buttons that lock into place. The 5th-generation iPod Touch comes with something similar on the back of the device, which basically a pop-up strap holder that allows you connect a strap loop to the iPod so that it doesn’t fall to the ground if it accidentally slips out of your hands. That type of push button is similar to this joystick patent, so it’s certainly something that Apple is familiar with implementing into its products.
Will we see this on the iPhone 6s? Most likely not, but the new device is expected to come with a handful of improvements and new features, including more memory, better camera performance, possibly a new OLED display, and more.