Random: You can use a Joy-Con as a remote shutter for your phone

Everyone knows how to take a picture with their smartphone. But, what about those situations where you need to capture a shot at a distance (without using the self-timer)? There are various Bluetooth remote shutters that are built for this very purpose. Some smartwatches even can function as one. But, if you own a Nintendo Switch, then you already have such a device: the Joy-Con.

Reddit user “Byotan” recently made a post showing off this random functionality. It’s been known for a while now that the Joy-Con can be paired as input devices pretty easily on operating systems like Android and Windows. But, it doesn’t seem like anyone bothered trying to use them with a camera app (or at least, if it was publicized, it didn’t catch on until now).

Of course, curiosity drove me to try it for myself. In the original post, a right Joy-Con is seen being used. I paired it with my phone (a Xiaomi Pocophone F1), which took just a few seconds. While I could navigate through my home screen and get in and out of apps, I couldn’t seem to activate the shutter button in the camera app. So, then I tried using the left Joy-Con, and sure enough, that worked. It’s unclear to me why one Joy-Con works over the other, but it might have something to do with however the buttons are mapped when paired. And, the mapping may change depending on what kind of phone you have. Nevertheless, clearly, it is indeed possible to try for yourself.


The new party trick

You’ll likely find some creative use for this random discovery, or perhaps this might be one of those random things that just so happen to come in handy further down the line. Considering that my remote shutter button needs its batteries to be replaced, I just may leave it out of laziness and find myself using my left Joy-Con from now on.

Is this whole situation ground-breaking? No, not really. But, it sure is neat! Now, if only someone can “accidentally” trigger that random Bluetooth audio support that’s been sitting in the Switch’s firmware as of a few weeks ago…

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.