Apple iOS 16 now supports Nintendo Switch controllers on iPhone and iPad devices

Joy for all as Joy-Cons now work on iPhone and iPad

Apple iOS 16 and Nintendo Switch OLED
(Image credit: Apple / Nintendo)

Apple has unexpectedly added support for Nintendo Switch controllers as part of its iOS 16 operating system. 

The surprising move was discovered by classic video game emulator developer Riley Testut (via Twitter (opens in new tab)), who shared screenshots confirming that iOS 16 works with both Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. Most impressively, the right and left Joy-Cons were spotted to work individually or appear as one single controller and can be dynamically swapped between. 

This now means those that own a Nintendo Switch controller and iPhone or iPad with iOS 16 can in theory utilise the former to play games from the App Store. Nintendo also has a handful of mobile games such as Super Mario Run, Mario Kart Tour, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and more recently. Pikmin Bloom. 

Each controller can be customised via the Bluetooth menu within the settings menu on IOS 16. This is now in beta for developers with a public beta set to follow in July and an official release set for later this year. 

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Apple previously rolled out support for the PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controller in April 2021 as part of iOS 13. Since then, many have been hoping Nintendo would be the next in line considering the company was the final of the big three in the video games space. 

Earlier this year, Nintendo finally added Bluetooth audio support for Switch, something that was absent from the system since it launched in March 2017. 

iOS 16 was officially unveiled during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2022 on June 6th, 2022 alongside a new lock screen, enhanced maps, CarPlay and more. Meanwhile, at least one Apple iPhone 14 model is in jeopardy of not meeting its development schedule due to issues with lockdowns in China, according to a new report.  

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64