Android 9 Pie offers native support for Microsoft's Xbox One S Wireless Controller, as suggested by a newly updated listing in the Google Issue Tracker. Following late 2016 reports about some Android games experiencing issues with mapping Xbox One S Wireless Controller's buttons, Google came around to fixing the issue earlier this week, with the commit including native support for the gadget's key mapping also appearing in the main repository of the Android Open Source Project, suggesting the patch will be part of every Android 9 Pie build.
The Xbox One S Wireless Controller communicates with Android devices via a Bluetooth connection so while native support was unnecessary for some games, others had issues with correctly recognizing the device, resulting in problems such as some buttons not being recognized as existing or being identified as different keys. Select controller models may still experience issues as the engineer who marked the original bug report as resolved acknowledged that their device IDs don't match the original models and inquired about more information on their origins, asking users where they bought them. The Xbox One S Wireless Controller is just one of many gamepads that work with Android devices, though it's a popular option among non-casual mobile gamers, particularly in the United States where Microsoft's gaming brand continues to enjoy significant popularity.
Sony's DualShock 4 controller for the PlayStation 4 can also be used in conjunction with contemporary Android devices and even Nintendo's Joy-Cons for the Switch work with Android to a degree, though their uses outside of emulators remain limited due to similar button mapping issues. Games remain the most popular app category on the Google Play Store, with recent studies suggesting mobile gaming as a whole will be a $58-billion industry by 2020. Android 9 Pie hit the stable channel earlier this month and is expected to start rolling out to mainstream handsets from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, HMD Global (Nokia), Sony, and LG in the coming months.