Backbone One’s companion app is getting a makeover, with a subscription fee for new users only – TechCrunch


We’re fans of the Backbone One iPhone controller here. A nice mix of rock solid hardware and much better software than it should be has quickly become my favorite way to play on the go. Expand the controller, insert the iPhone, continue killing zombies / guard the galaxy / etc.

This morning the company is announcing a number of new features for the above software, with one catch: while the companion app / service will continue to be free for existing users, it will cost new users a few dollars a month.

The backbone accompanying software serves as an all-encompassing hub for the controller. It gives you a quick and nice way to access all of your backbone-friendly games, but also gives you cross-game voice chat and parties, a system for grabbing and sharing clips, and more.

It will also learn a few new tricks soon. The company has a great blog post announcing the new feature set here, but if you’re just looking for the short version:

  • Users can now firmly connect the Backbone One to other devices – iPads, Macs and PCs – for control
  • The video recording quality has been improved for all devices with iOS 15. increased from 1080p 30 FPS to 1080p 60 FPS
  • With a switchable “Smart Recording” function, you can record the last 15 seconds of the game retrospectively
  • Built-in Twitch streaming support that allows you to broadcast your mobile gaming skillzzz around the world with just a few clicks
  • On iOS 15, you can configure it so that plugging in the Backbone One automatically puts iOS into gaming focus mode, which mutes notifications except for those you think are most important
  • You can now share your screen directly with friends at parties if you want to go live, but maybe not for everyone on Twitch
  • They improved game search and improved overall load times and stability

With these additions, Backbone will charge a monthly fee to access the companion app – but only for new users. If you already have a Backbone One, access to the app and the associated service – now called “Backbone +” – remains free for life. If you’re a new user, you get Backbone + access for free for one year, after which it costs around $ 50 a year. Don’t want to pay for the companion app? Backbone CEO Maneet Khaira tells me that it will continue to work fine as a controller and that you can continue to update the controller’s software through the app.

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