Steam Link is (Finally) Now Available on iOS and tvOS Devices
After a delay due to apparent violations of Apple's app guidelines, the Steam Link app has finally made it to iOS devices.
For about a year now, Android users have been able to use the Steam Link app to stream their games onto their mobile devices, but certain restrictions seemed to keep Valve’s tool out of the iOS App Store. According to Apple, the application violated a number of their guidelines, although there appeared to be room for an eventual release. With a couple of key changes, Valve is set to go, and iPhone and iPad users can download Steam Link to their device right now.
This comes not long after Valve quietly discontinued their physical Steam Link device, which had been discounted repeatedly before. Keeping the same name and general concept, the application allows users to stream games from their Steam library directly onto their mobile device’s screen. The physical hardware allowed for owners to stream those games onto their television with an HDMI connection, though now owners of the Apple TV box can do so as well, with the Steam Link app also being available on tvOS.
Apple’s initial rejection 0f the app likely came from the company’s policy of receiving a cut for anything sold directly through third-party applications; there is no doubt that Apple didn’t want users to buy Steam games on their own iOS devices. And that even extends to apps that attempt to bypass that policy by redirecting users to outside stores, with Apple cracking down on apps that did such.
It appears that Valve resolved this issue by having the iOS version of Steam Link launch in a specialized version of Big Picture mode, as opposed to the Android version, which offers a more general remote connection to the desktop application. As the desktop version includes the store, one could guess why Apple wouldn’t be fond of that in their own App Store. Users should have a 5Ghz network or wired Ethernet connection, with the Steam Controller, Mfi controllers, and Bluetooth controllers being supported.
Recently, Sony released a mobile app that allowed for Remote Play from the PS4 to mobile devices, with iOS devices included; why that went through without a hitch and Valve didn’t is curious, and even more curious is Microsoft’s Xbox division teaming up with Sony for game streaming. What a world we live in.