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Apple’s lame App Store policies are why xCloud and Stadia are not available on iOS

Android fans are going to eat this up.

apple store signage
Image: Unsplash

With xCloud getting ready to launch next month, one note from the release highlighted that the service would be available to Android users, but not for those of us on iOS. While there was plenty of speculation and vague comments about this in regards to Apple’s App Store policies, that has now been confirmed.

In a statement to Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson notes, “The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”

This prevents things like xCloud and Stadia, game streaming services, from operating on the platform because users are accessing individual games that have not been approved by Apple.

Some services, like Steam Link and Shadow, have found ways around Apple’s policies (4.2.7) by implementing tech that makes game streaming come from mirror devices. In Shadow’s case, this means users are technically renting a gaming PC to stream games to their phones.

Apple is also against these services because they aren’t seeing any money from them. People sign up for Stadia and xCloud through their respective sites and only use the app for access. As The Verge points out, Microsoft and Google are probably hesitant to allow signups through an iOS app, as that would give Apple a 30% cut of the profits.

Microsoft has now spoken up on the issue, as well, telling The Verge, “Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”

We’ll have to see how this plays out, but for now, it looks like mobile game streaming through xCloud or Stadia will be exclusive to Android users.

What do you think? Surprised by this or do you expect this kind of thing from Apple? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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