iOS Steam Link App Rejected By Apple

The crew at Apple have rejected the latest Steam Link iOS app for allegedly not adhering to Apple's application guidelines.

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One of the biggest stories for PC gamers and mobile gaming enthusiasts is the recent release of the Steam Link mobile app. Using Steam's latest mobile software, players are able to stream games from their Steam library straight to their phones, much like the function served by the physical Steam Link boxes. Unfortunately, it looks like iOS users will be left out in the cold, as reports indicate that Apple has rejected App Store approval for the Steam Link mobile app.

The Steam Link app was slated to release on May 21 for both iOS and Android devices, but it seems like the former option may no longer be a viable platform. Despite approving the app back on May 7, two days before Steam announced the software to the world, Apple has now revoked its approval, citing "business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team." Valve appealed the decision, but the appeal was denied, and it now appears that Steam Link will never come to iOS devices.

That said, Android users should be all in the clear, as it appears there have been no problems getting the Steam Link app approved for Google's open mobile platform. The Steam Link app is slated to support streaming gameplay at 1080p and 60 frames-per-second; users with particularly powerful PC and mobile hardware as well as a proper wired internet connection could conceivably reach up to 4K streaming at 60 FPS by tweaking the right in-app settings.

Steam Link app users will also note that the software features support for the Steam controller as well as various MFI controllers, though it appears that the Steam controller itself will only function within Steam's own app.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    May 24, 2018 5:41 PM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, iOS Steam Link App Rejected By Apple

    • reply
      May 24, 2018 5:46 PM

      God damnit Apple.

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 5:11 AM

      Man, that would have been sweet.

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 7:05 AM

      Probably it will never come to switch either

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 7:22 AM

      Nothing more fun than playing games built for a full sized PC on a tiny touch screen! What a great loss, I am so upset.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 7:29 AM

        Of course it depends on the game. App was also meant for the iPad and Apple TV. The latter is a big loss considering your relatively simple Apple TV box could turn your TV into a bigass PC monitor with a simple app install.

        • reply
          May 25, 2018 8:05 AM

          Also, long term I can see Valve trying to turn Steam Link into the next Netflix where it's just on every device you can buy. There's already Samsung TVs with it built in. It could be that in a few years it might be hard to buy a device that doesn't have Steam Link built in.

          The fact that they've done those stunts where the hardware Steam Link is $5 or effectively free with a game purchase imply that they're more interested in it being out there than making money off of it. Since the apps in question could connect to the Steam Controller through a hidden-until-now Bluetooth mode, I'm guessing that they're more interested in selling Steam Controllers (and games through Steam of course) anyway.

          • reply
            May 25, 2018 8:08 AM

            Do they really sell that much hardware?

            • reply
              May 25, 2018 8:11 AM

              No idea, they don't give out numbers. But I can still see them wanting Steam to be on as many screens as possible since they make their real money selling games for it.

              • reply
                May 25, 2018 8:21 AM

                I have no doubt that this is the goal of Valve as well as Microsoft and perhaps, later, Sony. Sony is the least platform agnostic.

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 7:29 AM

      what the hell Apple!!

    • kch
      reply
      May 25, 2018 7:55 AM

      Apparently they rejected it because you can purchase games through the app, and since Apple is not getting a cut, this is a violation.

      Pretty cheeky imo. It's basically a remote desktop app.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 7:58 AM

        I've played games that way. It's not great but Jump Desktop has enough UI settings to make it work for strategy games.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 8:01 AM

        A badly worded sentence in the Reuters article implies that maybe Valve had already anticipated this and made it to where the iOS app version couldn't purchase games (like, Steam Big Picture Mode would detect that the client connected was on iOS and say no you can't purchase from this device)

        [Doug] Lombardi said Steam disabled purchasing its iOS app but did not elaborate on how the change was made.
        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-steam/apple-blocks-steams-plan-to-extend-its-video-games-to-iphones-idUSKCN1IQ09D

        If that's true then Apple might have a problem with something else.

        • kch
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          May 25, 2018 9:00 AM

          Perhaps. It seems likely it's a money-related thing though.

          The Audible app is great except if you want to get a new book. Amazon disabled purchases through the app, so they don't have to give Apple a cut. Seems dumb. You just buy them through safari or desktop.

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 8:00 AM

      Yay walled gardens. Apple is such a garbage company.

    • reply
      May 25, 2018 8:02 AM

      Still funny that everyone is blaming Apple. Services, which includes App Store and purchase, is their fastest growing division. They're not going to give a big slice of that away without some sort of negotiation.

      We might as well resume complaints that iOS devices, the Switch, and so on, are not jailbroken by default.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 8:09 AM

        I'm a big Apple defender on here but it doesn't help that it's been on Android for a week because Google doesn't give a fuck. Of course that's also why every game has a hundred ripoff clones using the same icon and why there's freaking antivirus apps for Android but I digress.

        It also doesn't help that Apple approved the app and then rescinded the approval.

        It's a legit concern for developing for iOS - the fact that you might come up with and develop an app only to have Apple reject it.

        If this app was rejected on May 10th and they didn't announce the rejection until May 24th, I'm guessing that's like two weeks of negotiations that didn't pan out. Granted that's assuming Valve could get a hold of anyone at Apple at all. In all likelihood they announced the rejection to get it out in the press in the hopes Apple will change its mind due to the publicity.

        • reply
          May 25, 2018 8:20 AM

          Using undocumented / forbidden API tricks and whatnot is always something to be mindful of but Apple very rarely rejects applications for doing that in games. That's usually something they frown upon in apps that do something feisty with location data or some such.

          Google allows anything, including a sequel to a game you just made and released two weeks ago, complete with cloned branding and game title and so on. I would never develop a game for that platform.

          If this was a stunt by Valve then I wish them luck but doubt it will work to their favor. Perhaps this gets them back to the table closer to the figure Valve was willing to accept. That said, does Valve really think that Apple is going to lose enough customers from this (currently esoteric) application not being in their store that will get them to change their posture?

          Another option is that for Valve to truly accommodate giving Apple a cut will require Valve to replace the web-based UI with a native one. That would take time and money. But the amount of money is insignificant compared to how much Steam has in the bank.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 9:38 AM

        Right, they want to "negotiate" for more profit for them to run programs their own system doesn't. The things people would stream to a Steamlink App are things you won't find on he ios store in the first place. Now, if Apple were intending to introduce some kind of in-home PC -> TV streaming of their own, I'd say there's valid concern.

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          May 25, 2018 9:43 AM

          That would feel out of place given the energy they have put into developing Metal and that they always tout how much their hardware can achieve on-device.

      • reply
        May 25, 2018 9:45 AM

        I bought a new iPad Pro so I could use the SteamLink app. Now that iPad is getting returned.