Next week, Valve is launching a "Steam Link" app for iOS and tvOS, allowing users in the Apple ecosystem to play Steam games streamed from a host Mac/PC (using either a 5GHz network or a wired Ethernet connection) onto an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. In advance of the app's launch, our sister site TouchArcade got the chance to go hands-on with Steam Link and came away entirely impressed by the quality of gaming that can come out of Valve's app.

ipad cuphead controller cropped
TouchArcade reports that Steam Link works so well that it "feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all," and once it's set up (a "simple" process) the app is essentially the same as using a physical Steam Link hardware box or Steam's Big Picture mode.

The app doesn't just stream in-game content, but allows gamers to browse the Steam marketplace, purchase games, check their friend lists, play PC exclusive titles, sell things, and more. "There are no corners cut anywhere, it's the complete experience," TouchArcade says.

In the end, the site crowned Steam Link as the current "killer app" for Apple devices.

Overall, I have constantly found myself completely blown away by how well the Steam Link app works. If you have a gaming PC in your house, and an iPad or Apple TV, I do not think it is at all hyperbole to say that this is the killer app for iOS devices.

If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.

There are a ton of more details to read in TouchArcade's coverage for Steam Link, including tidbits about stream quality, Steam/MFi controller use, the lack of potential for cellular gameplay, and more. To read the full coverage, follow this link: 'Steam Link' App Hands-On Preview - The iOS and Apple TV Killer App Doesn't Even Play Games from Apple's Ecosystem.

Steam Link is launching today for Android devices, while a launch for iOS and tvOS should be sometime next week, pending further approval from Apple.

Tags: Valve, Steam

Top Rated Comments

drew05 Avatar
38 months ago
Please don't jinx it and have Apple block its approval... this is going to be great.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Plutonius Avatar
38 months ago
It sounds good but I still can't figure out why I need it.

If you need to stream a Steam game from a host computer over Wifi, why not just play the game on the host computer instead of on an IOS device ?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redman042 Avatar
38 months ago
The Xbox app on my Microsoft Surface similarly allows me to play Xbox games in a different part of the house than where my Xbox is connected. But I quickly found it was not worth using. You've got to have a blazing fast and absolutely perfect WiFi link to make it work reasonably well, and even then, you will have occasional dropouts and glitches that will completely ruin any fast-pace racing or first person shooter games. Pretty much Ethernet is your only option. At that point, being constrained to the house AND to a cable defeats the purpose of this whole thing except maybe in certain edge cases.

For those reasons, I haven't tried using it for some time.

This solution is even worse in that you have to have a powerful gaming PC to use it. Well, I don't have one (and don't want to mess with the cost and effort to own and maintain one).

I do have an iPad Pro with a powerful CPU and GPU that, unfortunately, can't be taken full advantage of to play console-quality games (with a few exceptions) because the App Store is a wasteland of pay-to-play shallow games, and physical controllers are not well supported.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
frankdogg Avatar
38 months ago
It sounds good but I still can't figure out why I need it.

If you need to stream a Steam game from a host computer over Wifi, why not just play the game on the host computer instead of on an IOS device ?
...so you can play while you poop.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lunarworks Avatar
38 months ago
"I do not think it is at all hyperbole to say that this is the killer app for iOS devices."

Finally, just the break Apple needs. They're sure to sell millions of them.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rom3o Avatar
38 months ago
If you need a host PC/Mac, I don’t see the benefit of it. Streaming games from the cloud would be something I would consider a ‘killer app’ at least for the Apple TV.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...