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Android phones can use a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con as a remote camera shutter — here’s how

It’s been four years since the debut of Nintendo’s Switch console, a flexible device that just keeps evolving. Recently, it was highlighted that the Nintendo Joy-Con controller has a useful trick on Android devices — it can be used as a remote shutter button for the camera.

A Reddit user brought this previously undiscovered function to light over the weekend, providing a quick demo that shows exactly how this function works.

If you pair a single Joy-Con controller to an Android smartphone, in this demo using the right-side Joy-Con, the “A” button can be used to take pictures on your smartphone remotely. This might not be useful in daily life, but as our smartphone camera replace traditional cameras, the Joy-Con could be an easy option to enable a remote shutter if you mount your phone to a tripod or rest it somewhere to get a family portrait or capture a scene without holding your smartphone. There are products dedicated to this purpose, but the Joy-Con could be useful since any Switch owner will already have one on hand.

So, how can you try this yourself? The process is rather simple.

How to use Joy-Con as a camera remote on Android

  • Pair Joy-Con with your Android phone
  • Put the Camera app on your homescreen
  • Open Camera app
  • Press to take a photo

First, long-press the “Sync” button on the Joy-Con. Then, you’ll need to pair it to your phone by opening the Bluetooth menu and looking for “Joy-Con (R)” or “Joy-Con (L).” The green lights on the side of the controller need to be lit up to complete the pairing process. Once paired, the “A” button will now act as the home button on its first click. Next, you’ll need to select apps by pressing the “Y” button. If you’ve only paired one Joy-Con, you’ll need to adjust your homescreen a bit to get this working. The Joy-Con will select the first app on your homescreen looking from left to right and top to bottom. So, if you put a camera icon in the top-left portion of your homescreen, then pressing the “Y” button will select it. This may vary by device, so play around with it to find the right location.

On Pixel devices, you can take a photo just by tapping the “A” button. On Samsung devices, the process is a bit more complicated but better, in my book at least. Once the camera app is open, the X and Y buttons are used for zoom with each press going 0.1x in either direction. Once you’ve settled on a zoom level, you can press B to take the shot.

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