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
13 months ago
I still haven’t found a good explanation for this policy...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
13 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
13 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
13 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
13 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
13 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)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...