Simple but extremely effective, the Fling Joystick for iPad is similar in concept to the Joystick-it controller we featured on Pocket-lint back in March. However, there's one important difference, rather than resemble an arcade joystick, the Fling capably apes a portable device thumbstick, which can therefore be better to use while holding the iPad aloft rather than laying it flat.
In addition, the majority of its plastic build is transparent, allowing you to see what's going on underneath. And as you can see the virtual thumbpad move on the screen below, you get a better feel for how it works.
Design-wise, the Fling is excellent. Two sucker pads hold it securely in place and if you've wiped your screen free of grease beforehand, it shouldn't move during play. The thumbstick part is made of anodised aluminium, and features a capacitive rubber tip underneath that interacts with the touchscreen. Its body is actually engineering-grade resin, so is remarkably flexible. Ten One Design has also crafted it into a coil, so that it moves easily in every direction that the on-screen thumbpad needs.
And while it is being marketed as an iPad accessory, we also tested it on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, where it worked just as well. Indeed, we'd go as far as saying that it should work on any capacitive touchscreen - Android or otherwise. But be aware, that we can only vouch for the Tab.
The last thing that impresses us about the Fling is that, because of the light materials used, it's highly portable, and even comes with a little carry case that you can use to wipe the screen free of gunk before use. And not once have we noticed sucker marks afterwards.
Of course, the Fling's usability is purely restricted to games that require a thumbstick. And should a game need two simultaneous controls, you'll need two of them - not a cheap investment at around £20 each. But for those who want to use their iPad (or other compatible tablet) as a portable games console, this simple doo-hickey comes highly recommended.
The Fling Joystick for iPad is currently available in the UK from Firebox.com. There's also now a mini version for iPhone too.
How do you play games on your iPad (or other tablet device)? Does the Fling tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comments below...