Applications (i.e., apps) are virtually everywhere. At its most simplistic definition, it’s a software program designed to perform a specific function. It’s so integrated into our everyday lives we don’t really think about what we’re using, we just use it and, for the most part, it makes our lives easier. This common piece of tech is now creeping its way into FGC products – let’s explore where you can find them, why they exist, what they do, and the advantages/disadvantages.
Where, Why, and What?
As a quick disclaimer – we don’t know every single product out in the market within the FGC. If we missed anything let us know and we’ll update this article. At the time of writing (and as far as our knowledge) the two makers who provide apps for some of their products are Junk Food Custom Arcades and Bit Bang Gaming LLC.
Junk Food Custom Arcades is coming out with a companion app for their Snack Box Micro case. It will have the ability to change SOCD modes, select LED color, adjust brightness, choose LED animation, update firmware, and more to come. This is the first case in the FGC that will be configurable by an app. JFA pushes the market on what is possible, so we’re excited for this to come out! Updates on their app journey can be found on Discord or other social media platforms.
Bit Bang Gaming LLC also has apps out on the market for two current products – Antagonist PCB V2 and Magicians SOCD Cleaner V2. The chip shortage has certainly hurt us in a lot of ways, for reference see our article on the unexpected delays in releasing the Zero KO Board, which has forced us to use and develop with different parts. This means we are largely re-designing a lot of what was previously created, but a huge positive is the opportunity to provide companion apps with our products. We launched our first app with the Antagonist PCB V2. With this app you can choose if the PCB automatically or manually advertises to connect, allows you to live test outputs, and choose the desired Antagonist mode. Our Magicians SOCD Cleaner V2 was the second product we redesigned and launched with an app. Along with some of the same features (advertise mode, live testing outputs), the app allows you to choose a common cleaning mode, customize your own mode, save your favorite configuration into profiles, and mapping / wire logic for your particular stick. We have a running list of additions we want to include in each app, so stay tuned for future updates!
Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s be real, there are disadvantages to everything. For FGC apps, it will not provide quick access for things like tourney lockout, RS/DP/LS switches – it’s not a flick of a switch, it’s navigating into the app and adjusting your settings. As with any app, it can crash from time to time. A quick reset will work, and it’ll be back up and running, but if (or when) it ever happens it can be frustrating.
For advantages, it’s less hardware which makes it easier to provide updates. We can update the app with bug fixes and additional features without touching the hardware, which keeps costs low while providing more value. Apps also offer an easy way to customize more – with a few clicks you’ll have a product that is customized to your liking.
Using apps to configure your modding and gaming experience is here and expanding. Like everything there are certainly some disadvantages, but there are also so many advantages and possibilities. Modding and gaming is a very personal and collaborative activity – hopefully the current and future apps on the market make the experience even better overall. The apps are ultimately made for you – the FGC – so if there is anything you want to see implemented or improved please comment, tweet, or join us on discord!