The Backbone mobile game controller is now available for Android devices

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In brief: The Backbone One has long been one of the most popular iOS game controllers, praised for its cross-compatibility and other features that go above and beyond. Now, Android users can access that functionality across native mobile games and streaming services.

Backbone has started shipping an Android counterpart to its popular Backbone One iOS controller. For $99, users can attach the split gamepad to the sides of a smartphone for an experience akin to a Nintendo Switch or connect the controller wirelessly through Bluetooth.

The Android version includes the same buttons and other inputs as the iOS original but replaces the lightning connector with USB-C. The gamepad is compatible with several Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy models and many other Android devices that support USB-C and Android 8.0 or later.

  • Google Pixel 7 Series
  • Google Pixel 6 Series
  • Google Pixel 5 Series
  • Google Pixel 4, 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 3, 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 2, 2 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Series
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Series
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Series
  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10, Note10+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Z Flip3 5G
  • Honor 50
  • LG G7 ThinQ
  • Nothing 1
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro
  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • P30 P0
  • Realme 7 Pro
  • Sony Xperia Pro-I
  • vivo Pro+
  • Xiaomi POCO X3 Pro

Like other controllers that connect to mobile devices, the Backbone One doesn’t just play native mobile games. Cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna also work with the gamepad to provide a console-like experience on mobile. It also supports remote play services for Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox, though Backbone is still working out the kinks for PlayStation Remote Play on the Android model.

An integral part of the Backbone One is the Backbone app which lets users remap buttons, take screenshots, and launch games from any service or platform they register in the app. The app isn’t publicly available on Android yet, but controller purchases include early access.

The $4 monthly Backbone+ subscription adds many more features, including a unified menu that consolidates the launchers for mobile games, cloud services, and remote play. Other perks include social functions like Twitch and YouTube streaming, 1080p 60fps video recording, and public game lobbies. Additionally, subscribers get discounts on other Backbone products and trials for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Discord Nitro, Apple Arcade, and Google Play Pass.

The Backbone One also works with other USB-C devices like tablets, Macs, and PCs, but this feature also requires a membership. Subscribers must navigate to the Backbone app’s settings, select “Play on Any Screen,” choose the device they want to use, unplug the controller from the phone, then connect to the desired device with a USB cable.

Those who order a Backbone One Android now can still receive it before the end of 2022.

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