While there are plenty of excellent gaming controllers out there, most casual gamers don’t bother getting one. Though if you are an iPhone or iPod Touch owner, you can now turn your device into a wireless game controller for your Windows/Linux PC or Intel Mac, with WiFiPad.
WiFiPad is a free app that lets you transform your iPhone or iPod Touch into a wireless gaming controller for playing games on your Mac as well as Windows or Linux PC. It looks slick and works even slicker! We have seen some game controller apps for different smartphone devices before but they don’t come close to the looks of WiFiPad. Here is a video of the app in action provided by the developer, demonstrating playback of Halo on a PC using the controller.
WiFiPad has two components – the server software that runs on the computer and the app itself that runs on the iPhone or iPod Touch. It is quite configurable on the computer to map the controller keys and there are also several controller configurations for the app that you can choose from, or you can build your own using a separate application called WiFiPad Creator that runs on Windows and Mac and requires Java. The collection of currently available gamepad configurations left us tongue-tied when we first saw it – it includes controllers from NES, SNES, N64, XBox and PS3 to several custom mods not even existing elsewhere. You can check out the complete collection here.
Installing WiFiPad is quite simple – you can install the app itself by searching for it in the App Store. You will also have to download and install the appropriate server program for your computer depending on the OS you are using. Once installed, the app and the server are easy to configure and connect. Both the computer running the server and the iPhone or iPod Touch must be on the same Wi-Fi network to be able to connect.
Here is a video – again provided by the developer – that guides you through the entire process of installation and configuration as well as getting the app connected to the server. It also demonstrates playback of a couple of games with the controller.
WiFiPad runs on multiple iPod Touch and iPhone devices. The server is available for Windows XP/Vista/7, Linux and Intel Macs running OS/X Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard. Note that at the moment, the app might not be compatible with some games, though it is under active development and new features as well as compatibility for currently unsupported games is being added continuously.
Tried this app and loved it? Didn’t work for you? Want to share your experience? Want to tell us of another similar app for iPhone/iPad or another mobile platform such as Windows Phone 7, Android or WebOS? Feel free to leave a comment!