Valve's promised Steam Link app, which allows users to stream games from a PC onto their mobile devices, has launched for Android devices - but the company is claiming Apple has opted to ban it from its platform at the last minute.
Announced earlier this month, Valve's Steam Link app is the obvious progression of its In-Home Streaming system and dedicated Steam Link microconsole device. Like its predecessors, the software allows users running Steam on a Windows, macOS, or Linux gaming PC to stream the content around their home onto less-powerful devices - only extends it to cover Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, too. Control is provided, initially, through a Bluetooth connection to a Steam Controller, with support for third-party controllers promised to follow.
Sadly, while Android users are now able to download an early version of the Steam Link app from the Google Play store, iOS users are being left out in the cold - and Valve says it's all Apple's fault.
'Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realised by the original review team,' Valve explains in a press release issued late yesterday. 'Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store.
'Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.'
The issue may stem from the fact that the Steam Link system allows games present on the Apple App Store to be played on Apple devices without Apple getting a cut of the sales - though this is unclear, as the same could be argued for other remote-desktop packages. Apple, for its part, has not commented publicly on the apparent ban, nor on precisely what 'business conflicts' have raised its concerns.
For Android users, the Steam Link app beta is available now on Google Play.
May 15 2020 | 11:00