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Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Coconut Bean

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2011
349
366
This is so ****ing ********, crazy how Apple can give the middle finger to its over 1B devices who want to enjoy game streaming because they have a MONOPOLY

According to many people here, Apple gets to decide who is featured in their store or not. So this digital equivalent of "food desert" is totally *fine* by them.

Do you know what means monopoly? You can buy android or windows device.

This user is a good example. :p
 
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Coconut Bean

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2011
349
366
Well, technically speaking, a Netflix movie or a Kindle book or Spotify doesn’t run arbitrary code that’s being streamed to the device.

Apple’s POV is probably that the code that you submit for review should be the code that’s in the app, without having code pulled in from elsewhere and run. Games kind of stretch the boundaries of this - when you pull in a new set of levels, is that new code, just new graphics/content? It’s a bit murky.

I believe this is why, for instance, they shut down emulators (like Apple II emulators or NES emulators) - because they involve pulling in and running code that’s not part of your submission. They do have a point here. Sandboxing does a LOT in terms of the safety of iOS devices. However, Apple does a lot of automated code review when you submit your app through review. That really does do quite a bit in terms of catching private API usage or anything that might be sketchy.

So I disagree that this is being done for anticompetitive purposes. It stems from, like so many other moves, Apple’s maniacal obsession to control every aspect of the user experience.

you should read how game streaming works. Stadia for example doesn't even send the command inputs through the phone. It ONLY acts as a screen for content.
 
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fmillion

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2011
95
217
So they should block every mirroring PC screen app as well, cause they also can’t review every app/game that we can stream to iOS screen.
That's already a gray area. The app store already doesn't allow remote desktop apps unless "both the host device and client must be connected on a local and LAN-based network." It also states that anything displayed must be "rendered on the screen of the host device" and also states that "Thin clients for cloud-based apps are not appropriate for the App Store." It says this applies to apps that provide a remote view into "specific software or services".

I routinely violate these policies as a user. I use the Microsoft RDP app to remote into headless servers via a VPN, which is logically but decidedly not physically "local", and I also use the RealVNC app to login to cloud hosted VPS GUI instances to which I have no physical access and which have no "screen". I've also used VMware Horizon to remote into VMware instances. All of these uses seem to violate at least one of the App Store policies, especially VMware Horizon since it's offering access to "specific" software, namely the Horizon management interface + the VMs.

Now, imagine if there was a cloud provider that set up a service. You enter a server address into the RealVNC stock client. From there, through that remote view, you can sign up for a cloud server and subscribe/pay for apps, all through the VNC interface. Later, you can use the RealVNC client to access the remote session, on which you can use "specific software or services". Imagine there's even a custom App Store-like UI streaming via the VNC session. In other words, this service violates every App Store remote access policy...but it does so using an already-approved app that does have other uses. How do you think Apple would react? Imagine if such service became quite popular and it was found that the majority of RealVNC downloads from Apple were done to use this service. You couldn't go after that service because it's not even directly dealing with the App Store at all, so Apple would be forced to go after RealVNC...

Ultimately, it's true Apple is being "fair" and not allowing any game streaming service on the iOS platform. However, it's still going to be viewed as anticompetitive since they have their own game subscription service.

Apple really does need a "behind the curtain in the back" concept. Apps that skate the edges of the policies could have warning labels on them, require you to do something to indicate your acceptance of the risks, etc. If it were purely about having a good app store, they could do this. The truth is it truly is all about profit (i.e. Apple Arcade), which is exactly what regulators are going to frown on.
 
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techfreak23

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2013
328
387
How is it anti-competitive? Steam Link and Shadow are allowed. Those allow you to compete with Apple Arcade.

If it is anti-competitive, should Microsoft allow PS Now on Xbox and should Sony allow xCloud on PS5?
You know what the great thing about this whole situation might be? Maybe this will result in us being able to use PS Now, xCloud, and Stadia on all consoles. Sony and Microsoft have already made their platforms open to cross platform play. What’s to say that isn’t already in the works with those two, or this case with Apple might push them along further? I would be stoked if that were the case. I won’t ever get another PlayStation until they change their ugly designs and the stupid controller with the Touch Bar, but there are definitely some franchises I’ve missed playing from that side (GoW, Uncharted, Spider-man, etc). All of those I would be fine streaming. FPS games are a no go for streaming.
 
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marty1980

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2011
555
387
I don’t think your getting the point though
It’s not if they can survive or exist but rather how does it shift the experience of it
Granted Ubisoft does do apps and so other big names that are there

so in the end I really believe it just a matter of Microsoft showing Apple that they can and need a new section in the guidelines for cloud based apps
But hey those are my options

I don’t get it. There are already streaming/cloud-based apps on the App Store that do similar things for other industries. What rules are they going to place on Game Pass that would make sense?

Apple doesn’t like mature content on iOS, but I can watch MA content on several “cloud-based” apps. Some I can even interact with. Apple doesn’t even have a valid reason for denying Game Pass due to how they contradict that stance with so many other apps.

So what rules would you expect them to place on streaming that would get them through and onto the App Store?
 
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Anox

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2020
88
21
Just curious. If say Microsoft provided those xbox games as streaming games, but as individual games. For example, there would be a Halo app on the App Store, but when you play the game. It is actually streaming the game from Microsofts server. Any in-game micro transactions is run through apples in-game purchase system. There could even be a number of games like this. Each an individual app that streams the game instead of running it on the device. They could be put in a bundle with a subscription. So if you pay for the subscription you get all the games in the bundle. Would this model of doing streaming games be ok from apple or is it also a no-go because of App Store rules?
I think so if I understood correctly I mean it might not be true but if it is Microsoft doesn’t have much to lose here they already pay the dev fee yearly and clearly don’t mind having one account for both word and Xbox so I don’t get how a centralized app is a big issue granted there might be something I am missing
 
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Anox

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2020
88
21
I don’t get it. There are already streaming/cloud-based apps on the App Store that do similar things for other industries. What rules are they going to place on Game Pass that would make sense?

Apple doesn’t like mature content on iOS, but I can watch MA content on several “cloud-based” apps. Some I can even interact with. Apple doesn’t even have a valid reason for denying Game Pass due to how they contradict that stance with so many other apps.

So what rules would you expect them to place on streaming that would get them through and onto the App Store?
I’m sorry I am having trouble understanding your question can you try an rephrase it please

as for apps that are “cloud based” I actually started thinking this is a diversion and not the actual problem, interactiveness maybe,
Being on a User machine more likely,
But ultimately all of these can be settled and I guess Microsoft means they don’t have a way to bring the up in a timely fashion as it is yet solved??

look the guidelines are there and they should be there even if I don’t like em that the nature of rules, and I get it it really hurts having it so close and yet so far, being discriminated against because you choose Apple by none other then Apple themselves!! I do get it and I believe the guidelines should be sharp and clear yesterday! But it’s not
Apple has problems with adapting, with making it clear to everyone,
but it is still within their right to not want even specific app (think malware, or racism) I also get that it’s easy to give up on them “that’s it they’re evil” but the truth is that wont help them change I wouldn’t like to listen if I were them to a mob of comments saying nothing then “You are $@&!” It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get angry or even switch if you can afford it
Know that hailing “antitrust and monopoly” is kinda disheartening especially if the service could be available as segmented individual apps that stream the game and or changing xCloud terminology to leasing an Xbox device to user
 
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monkeybongo

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2007
120
28
Canada
The train stops here, as an Apple devout for over 15 years, I’m getting off. Phones, Macs, all of it. They are killing both traditional (x86) and future (streaming) gaming all in one year. All so we can play more iOS games. Get out of here with that ****.

You account was only created a couple of weeks ago ... but you've been a devout for 15 years? In those 15 years, has serious gaming ever been a component of why you used a Mac/iOS? Why would this be a breaking point now?

Honestly, would you complain that Nintendo doesn't allow Xbox cloud streaming on the switch. Is it a monopoly for Nintendo on portable gaming and you'd complain?
 
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xWhiplash

macrumors 68030
Oct 21, 2009
2,794
1,707
You’re seriously going through my profile to see what dirt you can get on me? That’s so fragile, haha. When I decide to sign up for a forum is my own concern. Yes, I have been both an Apple devout and a hardcore gamer for the better half of my life. These two hobbies are often at odds, and now these incompatibilities have grown so deep that it looks like gaming finally wins out at the expense of my passion for Apple products. Them removing Boot Camp and my ability to play all my past x86 games on their future Macs was the actual breaking point, this just tipped it further (can’t stream either!)

As for your other question, it has been addressed. A general-purpose phone platform essential to billions (and with a economy that doesn’t even compare) will be viewed differently by regulators than a smaller video game console with a singular focus on entertainment that is “optional” to human lives. But I’d be happy to see xCloud on Switch, and Microsoft and Nintendo already collaborated on cross-play. It’s very possible.

Here is a good idea, have a Mac for whatever you like macOS about and have a dedicated gaming computer

All three systems have their pros and cons and I like them all - Mac, Windows and Linux. For work, I prefer macOS. Windows 10 has gotten too busy for me with the notifications and forced updates. I miss Windows 7. I prefer Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X for my work. Also I do prefer Adobe Creative Cloud on macOS vs Windows.

For Windows, its purely gaming and Visual Studio software development.

For Linux, its purely reserved for some single-purpose machines like a NAS for example, or testing out Docker.

And just FYI, Macs were never meant to be for gaming. If you are leaving the Mac environment just because of the x86 transition because of not being able to game, you are on the wrong platform anyway. You can build a better gaming computer for 1/4 or 1/5 the cost of a Mac. And this is why I have always had a dedicated gaming box.
 
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krazzix

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
205
253
Netherlands
So what is stopping Microsoft from making an app for each game? 99% of the code of each app is going to be the same anyway. They could build some internal software that updates the apps and submits them. Not that a big of a deal.
 
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happygodavid

macrumors regular
May 14, 2007
184
169
Northern Virginia
My lifestyle doesn’t work that way. Everything I own fits in one backpack so I can travel the world freely without constraints or tethers. I work on Mac and play on Windows; the MBP is my everything computer (it’s kinda famous for that). It’s been this way for 12 years. Having a desktop would literally be impossible (I do occasionally get the temporary one here and there depending on predetermined permanence).

I’ll have to either carry 2 laptops or just transition entirely to Windows. I’ve chosen the latter.

I understand where you're coming from, as I have a MBP that's my "everything" machine. However, we don't know yet where Apple is headed with their silicon. They haven't said specifically what they're doing with Windows support, and in an interview I saw, Hairforce One dodged the question. I haven't given up hope that they will still have a version of Boot Camp. However, let's assume they don't support Windows ever again. Okay, fine; I can't control that (i.e.- I shouldn't stress over it). It would take a herd of wild horses to pull me out of the Apple ecosystem. Windows 10 is a clunky beast compared to macOS. I've tech supported enough friends' Android phones to know I don't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. Chromecast vs. Apple TV? No contest. I can still game on my Switch on the go, or on my PS4 or Xbox at home, and I've been considering building a gaming PC. And heck, Steam for Mac still lets me play quite a bit of my library. Is it a perfect system? No. But I will still have plenty of options for gaming, and I can still use Apple for the rest of my digital life. That having been said, I understand where you're coming from, and I'm guessing there will be quite a lot of folks like you; perhaps if enough people send them feedback, they'll cave and bring Windows support. I don't have a crystal ball, but I'd make a guess it will happen eventually. If not, I won't lose sleep.
 
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nStyle

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
1,160
286
I mainly play competitive multiplayer games so I need a PC anyway but I really hope the gov steps in eventually over this BS.
 
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The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
23,743
12,939
UK
Hey everyone, please send feedback to www.apple.com/feedback. They read it, and they need to know how ridiculous their decision is to not allow a streaming service on their devices.

Like they care, apple are all about doing it their way instead of thinking about what the user wants. Sadly they are becoming even more restrictive than before.
 
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monkeybongo

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2007
120
28
Canada
You’re seriously going through my profile to see what dirt you can get on me? That’s so fragile, haha. When I decide to sign up for a forum is my own concern. Yes, I have been both an Apple devout and a hardcore gamer for the better half of my life. These two hobbies are often at odds, and now these incompatibilities have grown so deep that it looks like gaming finally wins out at the expense of my passion for Apple products. Them removing Boot Camp and my ability to play all my past x86 games on their future Macs was the actual breaking point, this just tipped it further (can’t stream either!)

No, I look a person's points and the account create date first which is just to the left of the posts. If I see a person who has held an account for over 10 years, I give them more credibility. If I see an account from a couple of weeks ago with some points about the end of Apple ... fair enough if you switched to Windows (I have no qualms about Windows).

Apple has never been great or capable about serious gaming ... ever. Even on Bootcamp it's been disappointing ... any cheap AMD Ryzen based gaming laptop is better than a Mac. Just as a note, this post mentions IOS only ... it doesn't stop MacOS streaming on xCloud or other competing cloud based gaming platforms. :)

If you've been around long enough, it's just the way Apple works. It's like Flash support on IOS ...
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
13,527
11,943
Singapore
Like they care, apple are all about doing it their way instead of thinking about what the user wants. Sadly they are becoming even more restrictive than before.

Apple has never allowed game streaming on iOS. They are no more restrictive now than they were in the past. You can’t even say that this is to favour Apple Arcade, when said ruling existed long before then.

Conversely, Facebook went about creating such a service for iOS knowing fully well that it would be banned anyways, and are now throwing a hissy fit about it online.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,860
4,529
Perth, Western Australia
This is so ****ing ********, crazy how Apple can give the middle finger to its over 1B devices who want to enjoy game streaming because they have a MONOPOLY

Nah, they don't.

And if you say that they have a monopoly over iOS software distribution..

  1. this could almost certainly be done in iOS via a web app that would run in safari
  2. this could be done via Microsoft's own windows phone platform on their devices
  3. this is not really any different to DRM in Microsoft's xbox software preventing me from running it on a self-built xbox.
 
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Fishcake21

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2011
83
40
Apple allowed ton of crap games, clones, quick money makers into their app store, and they do not allow this? Plus they do not have to worry about what games to look for, Microsoft has control on that and it's quality games.

Silly move apple
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
13,527
11,943
Singapore
Apple allowed ton of crap games, clones, quick money makers into their app store, and they do not allow this? Plus they do not have to worry about what games to look for, Microsoft has control on that and it's quality games.

Silly move apple

There’s a difference between a native iOS app that users download onto their device, and an app which basically streams games online, effectively being its own App Store.

I think that’s really Apple’s intent here. They want the iOS App Store to be the nexus through which every other app and service flows through, and will not tolerate another service potentially allowing users to circumvent this.
 
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