We talk a lot about game controllers on Android, and it’s no secret that the root route is where the biggest rewards lie in terms of compatibility and functionality. That’s a pity, but with game developers still refusing to adopt any sort of standard and the root methods being a bit too complicated to realistically be a part of the OS itself, that’s just how it has to be.
There are however controllers out there that unlike the console controllers-turned-Android controllers we normally talk about are actually made for this use. The Phonejoy is one of them, and it’s a Playstation controller-looking Bluetooth controller that can actually give you analog stick controls without root. This is possible because it uses an app called Bluez IME to interface with the device, and other apps can that interface with Bluez IME. Since both hardware and software is talking to one another voluntarily rather than through workarounds and the like, they’re able to parse the analog stick data from the controller to the app. The downside is that this needs to be built into apps on a per-app basis, which in term means that there’s really not much support for it. The Nintendo 64 emulator N64oid is really the app that this really gets a chance to work in right not, which doesn’t sound too good, but N64oid is after all an emulator with some of the best games on any device ever available for it.
Of course the controller also works with other games, just without the analog stick. You have a full set of controls here that you can get working in games like GTA 3 and other games that support custom control input. That’s true for console controllers without requiring root too though, and the Phonejoy will soon be able to do what console controllers can with USB/BT Joystick Center (coming next update), so the big difference here is definitely the root-less analog stick functionality, however limited it is. However, at $35 for the controller, the Phonejoy is also a nice option for those looking for a controller and don’t have a console one already. For more info on the Phonejoy, you can check out my full review, which this time is available on Pocketables.