Microsoft had decided not to launch its game streaming service called xCloud on iOS, as the App Store policy prohibits apps from acting as an alternative store for apps and games. However, new reports from Business Insider and The Verge says the company is now working on an online version of xCloud that will run on iPhone and iPad.
Business Insider heard from sources familiar with the matter that Microsoft’s game manager Phil Spencer had a meeting with employees on Wednesday to discuss how the company will bring Game Pass to Apple devices. Spencer said that xCloud “will definitely end up on iOS”
Last month, Apple announced new App Store policies for game streaming services, which were not allowed in the App Store. The company says streaming games are now allowed, as long as developers submit each game to the App Store as separate apps in accordance with all guidelines.
Microsoft then criticized Apple for its decision, claiming that these restrictions lead to “a bad experience for customers.” The company initially hinted that it no longer had any plans to bring xCloud to iOS, but apparently Microsoft’s gaming team is still working on some options. According to one The Verge report, xCloud will be available as a web app in 2021, so it works on all Apple devices.
Microsoft seems to have been inspired by Amazon’s recently announced Luna cloud game service, which will be available to iOS users online. Amazon worked with the Safari team to develop a PWA version of Luna that will run on iPhone and iPad, so that users can access all their games using the browser and the official Luna controller.
Interestingly, while Apple claims that online apps are an alternative to the App Store in response to accusations of anti-competitive practices, it seems that some developers are actually taking this seriously.
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