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It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.


The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident. Unfortunately installing the firmware isn't a simple task: you'll need a Windows computer and a suite of tools and files supplied on the iMpulse download page. The gamepad mode is accessed via a button combination. On the plus side, it's claimed that a downgrade is simple if something should go wrong.


The lack of native Android gamepad support was really my only major complaint with the iMpulse, albeit one that soured the experience for me as both a backer and a reviewer. I'll be giving the hardware another look with the updated firmware, and I'll ammend my review with my experiences.

iMpulse Beta Firmware 1.08 download and instructions

Source: iMpulse Kickstarter

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Eric J. Peterson

    I updated mine this morning and it seems to work great. I didn't do a lot of testing, but it worked with an emulator and Zen Pinball. I plan to do more testing with other games when I'm off work.

  • Matthew Fry

    Glad to see they're following through. There's still plenty I'm unhappy with but it has functioned very well in the very limited capacity of "emulator controller." I carried it around with my keys for about a week until the provided hook fob-y thing broke off when I took my keys out of my pocket and it fell on the asphalt.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    What a huge disappointment this is. When I received it the first time, I managed to get it connected just fine, but found that the up and down keys don't function. They register as the minus key. I put it aside, but later tested it again, and have never once been able to get it to connect since. I've paired it with another device now too, since my 4 broke, and it still won't connect or show any indication of functioning at all.

  • Primalxconvoy

    "Not easy to use" I hear you say? Kiss goodbye to my money then.

  • Steven Anthony Scott

    I can't seem to get my Windows 8 machine with USB 3.0 ports to see the Impulse controller. I follow the crude graphic, but I get no feedback as flashes, beeps, or reaction from my PC when I release the triangular button. DFU cannot find or update my controller.

    • Steven Anthony Scott

      Neat, I figured it out... The supplied ribbon-style USB cable is defective and only works for charging. This could be by design, actually.

  • JiMMaRu

    I just got mine and updated it .. I can't seem to activate the game mode :S
    for some reason it only beeps once when I press the shoulder button after the long press
    [it beeps twice if I chose other modes, and beeps once if I pressed any shoulder button regardless]
    I wanna play sonic >.<