[Updated] Moga’s epic fail to support Android Lollipop

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Updated June 19, 2015: Just one day after publishing this post, Moga updated their app promising fixes to the major problems described throughout this post. After a brief test with the updated app, I can confirm that it now works.

When Moga released their Bluetooth controllers for Android, mobile gaming started to look like it might soon compete with consoles. The second generation of their Android controllers excited me enough to purchase one — the Moga Hero Pocket. It worked great and the fact it doubled as a battery pack was beyond convenient. But with the purchase of a Nexus 6 in the winter, which also meant an upgrade in OS, my excitement dwindled.

With my Nexus 6 running the newly released at the time Android Lollipop, I found many games that I expected to be compatible with the controller to not work. Initially, I thought it was an issue with the new OS and the controller. I tried to report this incompatibility to Moga Support, to which I was told to take the issue up with each developer. This left an impression that there may not be any compatibility issues with Lollipop, I was just using broken apps. However, the way support responded as if not being compatible wasn’t even a thought had me questioning their team’s knowledge and skill. Despite their response and trying to reach out to a handful of developers, I saw no improvement.

Fast forward 6 months of minimal use with my Moga now that it only works on a few games anymore, I spot an update to the Moga Pivot app. In the changelog, it mentions adding support for Android Lollipop. At last! I was right that there were compatibility problems. It’s too bad their developer team took so long to address it. After updating the app and attempting to connect my Moga Hero Power, however, I run into more trouble than I previously had. My controller won’t connect to my phone nor the app. I attempt to unpair the controller, remove the app, then re-install it. The new setup process discouraged me. I was forced to choose either the first generation Moga, which I don’t own, or the Moga Power, which I also don’t own. The Moga Hero Pocket isn’t a choice and I feel as if it has been forgotten.

Out of desperation, I tried setting up my Moga with both options, first choosing the Moga Power as it’s closest to the one I own. Unfortunately, both choices fail to connect to my controller. I can no longer use my Moga. This led me to contacting support yet again. After two days of trying to explain the situation and their useless efforts to troubleshoot the situation, I was once again standing still. Moga support wanted to warranty my controller — I refused as it worked prior to their app update, it worked better prior to Android Lollipop. They advised me to try different ways to connect, unpair, remove the app, etc — all things I had already tried. I was even advised to change the battery, to which I remarked that I didn’t know the Moga Hero Pocket had removable batteries and asked if I had to unscrew the controller. The support staff member quickly realized his mistake and corrected his advise, stating not to open the controller and forget about changing batteries. I knew better anyway.

It has now been more than a month since Moga updated their app to support Lollipop and it appears as though there is no progress being made. Support as assured me twice that their developers are working on the issue, but it’s hard to believe they’d release such a broken update to begin with. Clearly testing isn’t a process for their development team. Reviews of the Moga Pivot app paint a clear picture that this is a widespread problem as well. Moga’s Twitter feed makes no mention of the botched app update nor leaves any reassurance that they are addressing it — not even an ETA when those of us that purchased their controller can actually use it again. Moga’s Facebook page is also just as vacant of any mention of this issue. At this point, I’d rather ship Moga my paperweight of a controller and demand my money back, but they tell me I can only return it to the store in which I purchased it from. I doubt Best Buy will take it back more than a year after purchase. If Moga cannot properly support their products, then I want out. Buying into a system should not be a gamble. Not only does it hurt their own reputation, but it makes buyers like me more reluctant to support other start-up efforts.

Moga, if you’re reading this, fix this problem ASAP or return my money. I’m ready to abandon your platform.

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