Microsoft's xCloud Unavailable on iOS at Launch, Future Uncertain

Microsoft's upcoming "Project xCloud" game streaming service is set to launch on September 15th, exclusively on Android devices. Despite extensive testing via TestFlight on iOS, xCloud's launch on iOS seems to have been postponed indefinitely.

microsoftxcloud

Project xCloud is Microsoft's "vision for game-streaming technology that will complement our console hardware and give gamers more choices in how and where they play." xCloud will be bundled as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $14.99 per month, with more than 100 games available.

App Store guidelines ban services that rely on streaming games from the cloud. Cloud gaming services, where users stream games live via an internet connection, are growing in popularity.

Although Microsoft has been trialing xCloud on iOS with a closed public preview of 10,000 testers, the company previously stated that testing was limited due to Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies. Unlike the Android version, the app was limited to streaming games from the cloud only, excluding the ability to stream games from an Xbox console.

"To comply with App Store policies, the preview experience on iOS may look and feel different for those who have been testing on Android," Microsoft warned ahead of launching the preview.

Only one title, "Halo: The Master Chief Collection," was available on the TestFlight app. This is because ‌App Store‌ rules state that "games offered in a game subscription must be owned or exclusively licensed by the developer."

"It's our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices, but we have nothing further to share at this time regarding iOS," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.

Apple initially rejected Valve's Steam Link app due to "business conflicts," and it took almost a year to eventually be approved. Steam Link and Sony's PS4 Remote Play was approved only because the ‌App Store‌ allows remote desktop technology, but it is limited to devices on the same network.

Similar game streaming services Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now are still unavailable on iOS. A spokesperson for Nvidia, when asked about the challenge of reaching iOS users with GeForce Now, told Bloomberg, "Ask Apple."

The TestFlight preview of xCloud has ended today and will no longer function. This is due to Apple's automatic expiry date on all TestFlight apps, indicating that it has been 90 days since the preview was updated. The future of xCloud on iOS now seems to be uncertain, and it is unknown whether development will continue.

Top Rated Comments

johnnytravels Avatar
27 months ago
I still haven’t found a good explanation for this policy...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
27 months ago
Its simple, they disallow it because they can't monetize it. its a joke.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Don Onez Avatar
27 months ago

Pretty cut and dry. Apple doesn't accept apps like this. Want it? Buy an Android and move on.
Thanks for your divine input. ?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlfway2anywhere Avatar
27 months ago
Apple needs to address this and find a solution. It’s getting to be absurd. I’m embarrassed for them.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sethal Avatar
27 months ago
This is very upsetting for a lot of potential xCloud users and why these antitrust hearings and similar are necessary.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JKAussieSkater Avatar
27 months ago
I really hope the EU antitrust investigation into the App Store leads to resolving this problem once and for all:

Give power to the people, and let them make their own choices about what apps they want on their phones.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
odyssey ark 1

Samsung Launches $3,500 'Odyssey Ark' 55-Inch Curved Gaming Display

Monday August 15, 2022 7:15 am PDT by
Samsung today announced the launch of the Odyssey Ark, which the company says is the world's first 55-inch 4K curved display with a 165Hz refresh rate for improved gaming performance. Samsung first previewed the monitor at CES, but it is now available to order. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Priced at $3,500, the Samsung Odyssey Ark features mini-LED technology...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...