Touch screens are now considered almost de rigeur for any device that needs some kind of graphic interface. It’s the new Bluetooth! But even though touch screens have introduced tactile articulation for control and in many cases it is really the best way to manipulate things on screen, there are some things where an actual button would still be appreciated.
The most obvious need for physical buttons would be in the area of gaming. Anyone who has played games on a touch screen like an iPad or iPhone will realize that pressing on a flat surface without any kind of feedback could sometimes be counter intuitive. Haptic feedback solves the problem a bit but it’s still quite different with an actual button.
The guys at Ten One Designs realized this need for physical buttons, hence the creation of the Fling Mini. The company, who is also responsible for the Fling, the joystick that you attach to the iPad, made the Fling Mini as the gaming answer to smaller devices like the iPhone or iPod Touch. On first look, it is already obvious that the Fling Mini is made for smaller devices. But even with a more diminutive size it still provides the same ease of control one would expect from an analog stick.
The Fling Mini was engineered to provide maximum grip on a smaller real estate. Aside from the button portions that are placed on top of the screen, it also has the small “arms” that terminate with suction pads that are placed outside the screen, near the edge of the device. The buttons and the arms do cover a relatively significant portion of the screen, some say a little too much. But there’s no doubt that this thing works as advertised.
So if you’re a pocket gamer and want a more control on your thumbs while playing games then the Fling Mini is worth looking at. It is now available for preorder at Ten One Designs for $24.95 for the dual pack.