Ten One Design’s Fling iPad joysticks have been highly anticipated since their announcement at CES last month. However, with anticipation also came speculation about how well they would work. We bought a pair to give you our impressions of these makeshift tactile controls for your iPad’s touchscreen.
Fling’s design is quite great. A clear spiral of plastic wraps around the inside of the joystick, culminating in the thumb pad. Fling joysticks use dual suction cups to attach to the iPad’s bezel. These can be removed from the joystick quite easily if they need to be replaced.
The name ‘Fling’ does a good job of describing how it feels to use these joysticks. Ten One Design found a near-perfect balance between smooth movement and the joystick’s tendency to center itself. When you move the joystick off-center and then lift up your finger, it flings back to a centered position.
One of the joys of using the Fling is that games don’t need to be specifically designed for them to work. They simply go over any analog stick a developer puts into their game. Some of the games that worked best with the joysticks were Infinity Field, Minigore HD, and Spider-Man: Total Mayhem HD.
When these joysticks work with a game, they really are superb. We never had any issues with the joysticks failing to register our movements. We found our reaction times to be noticeably quicker and our movements more precise when using the Fling joysticks.
However, there are plenty of other games where the joysticks were obstructive, particularly when the developer places buttons directly around the on-screen analog stick. Also, we encountered situations where the onscreen analog stick was positioned in a way where a suction cup would need to go over the home button. As you would expect, this doesn’t work. You can place the entire joystick on the screen in such a situation, but this often obstructs buttons and your view.
Portability is a big plus for Fling. The joysticks are small enough that they don’t take up any room in a bag, and they can fit into your pocket. Every joystick comes with a carrying pouch that can easily fit two joysticks inside.
We recommend buying two, considering the Fling joysticks are best for dual-stick games. You can buy one Fling joystick for $19.95 or two for $29.95 on Ten One Design’s website.
Oh, and smart kids: Before you go off thinking you can get away with sticking one of these on your iPhone screen, save your $20. It ain’t happening.