Xbox Cloud Gaming Coming to iOS in Spring 2021

Microsoft has today announced that its cloud-based gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, will be available to iOS users starting Spring 2021.

xbox logo

The announcement detailed that, as expected, Game Pass will not be coming to iOS via an app, but rather through a web browser.

In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser. By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it's playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.

Earlier this year, plans to bring an Xbox streaming app to iOS stalled due to Apple's App Store rules, which forbid apps from streaming multiple games from the cloud via a single app. This is because Apple believes that its inability to review each game in the service's library is a potential security risk. Game Pass streaming would only be viable if each game was available as its own app under Apple's rules.

As Microsoft suggested earlier this year, using a browser instead of an app allows the company to avoid Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules while still providing the same service. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Apple "remains open to the user experience we would like people to see."

Microsoft's games streaming service is bundled as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $14.99 per month, with more than 100 games available.

Top Rated Comments

Sakurambo-kun Avatar
13 months ago
Really self defeating for Apple to block this being an app. It makes them look petty, small minded, and greedy.

All the Game Pass app does is allow people to stream from a subscription service, just like Netflix, Amazon etc. That's it. It's not a store, it's a streaming service. Apple need to remove their inflated head from the sand.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marbles1 Avatar
13 months ago
Apple continue to do nothing for gaming on their platforms; in fact they go out of their way to cripple the experience.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsrcool1234 Avatar
13 months ago
no doubt a crappier experience compared to native, thanks to Apple's incompetence.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FasterQuieter Avatar
13 months ago
Apple couldn't be more in the wrong here.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ozzymo Avatar
13 months ago

Already has been since iOS 13.


Go build your own platform. Then you can dictate whatever you like on it.


They seem to be doing just fine...your advice not withstanding.


Incompetent all the way to 2 Trillion.
Gotta love this kind of thinking. Just because they are the wealthiest company in the world means that everything they do is right. Forget the fact that Netflix and Hulu don't have to upload every single show for Apple to "review" because Apple was scared of going up against Netflix. The cult is strong in this one!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ozzymo Avatar
13 months ago

It does not make sense that Apple denies Gamepass because the ESRB reviews every game on xbox, so Apple thinks it knows better than the ESRB. In fact, one could argue that the ESRB or similar organization should be involved in the Apple review process of games as an independent organization. It is baffling that Apple is permitted to allow games on the app store without an ESRB rating, even if it does want to add it's own review process after/before an ESRB rating.

It also does not make sense that Apple denies Gamepass because a user can download a game to their xbox via an iphone game pass app already and then play it from their xbox in the Xbox app already. Apple is simply eliminating A -> C, not A -> B -> C.

Furthermore, how is it that the Mac can be more secure than the iPhone because the Mac allows browser downloads but the iPhone does not?
Apple thinks it knows better than the entire world. And this has more to do with $ and competition. Who in their right mind would subscribe to Apple Arcade and play all those throwaway kiddie games if you could get a real game subscription like Xbox Game Pass. Also of course Apple doesn't like the fact that it wouldn't be getting their juicy 30% cut of every game that would be played through xbox game pass. Now Apple will get nothing since it won't be going through the app store. With that in mind, this sounds like a pretty good trade off to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Apple vs Microsoft feature

Rivalry Between Apple and Microsoft Heating Up Again Over Augmented Reality, Gaming, and More

Friday May 14, 2021 11:04 am PDT by
The iconic and industry-classic rivalry between Apple and Microsoft, which has arguably seen a slowdown in recent years, is poised to begin heating up as both companies target the future of augmented reality and renewed competition in the PC industry, according to an analysis from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Both Apple and Microsoft have strong ambitions for the future of augmented reality....
Netflix

Netflix Considering Move into Gaming With Apple Arcade-Style Bundle

Tuesday May 25, 2021 2:48 am PDT by
Netflix is mulling an expansion into online gaming that could end up being similar to Apple's digital subscription offering, Apple Arcade, according to multiple reports. News of the plans began trickling out on Friday when The Information reported that Netflix had approached veteran game industry executives about joining the company. Netflix is looking to hire an executive to oversee an...
ps5 controller apple online store

Sony Bringing PlayStation Video Game Franchises to Mobile by March 2022

Thursday May 27, 2021 5:30 am PDT by
Sony has committed to bringing its PlayStation brands and IP to third-party mobile devices, potentially as soon as this year (via VideoGamesChronicle). Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan today explained during an investor relations session that the company plans to launch its major franchises on non-console platforms such as mobile, encouraged by its "very successful"...
microsoft xcloud devices

Microsoft xCloud Beta for iPhone and iPad to Launch This Week [Updated]

Monday April 19, 2021 7:46 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced that it will launch its browser-based Xbox Cloud Gaming service in beta to selected testers on iPhone and iPad tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, Microsoft will begin sending out invites to selected Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to test the Xbox Cloud Gaming limited beta for iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 PCs using a web browser. Invites will be issued on a continuous ...
nintendo switch

Sketchy Rumor Claims Apple Developing Nintendo Switch-Style Gaming Console

Tuesday May 11, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is working on a Nintendo Switch-style handheld games console, according to a sketchy new rumor coming from Asia. According to a post on a Korean forum, shared by Twitter user @FrontTron, Apple is developing a portable hybrid games console, comparable to the Nintendo Switch. While the sourcing of the rumor is suspect, it has gained some visibility in larger news outlets over the past...
microsoftxcloud

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...
App Store and XCloud

Xbox Boss Discusses Apple Arcade, App Store Fees, and Game Pass Streaming in Safari

Wednesday November 25, 2020 8:32 am PST by
Microsoft's executive vice president of gaming, Phil Spencer, has discussed Xbox's approach to Apple Arcade, App Store fees, and game streaming on iOS via Safari in a new interview with The Verge. Earlier this year, Microsoft elected to withhold the launch of its Xbox games streaming service on iOS after it became clear that the project was no longer viable due to Apple's App Store...
01 Asphalt Full Game 1920x1080

Apple's 'Arbitrary' App Store Policies Stifle the Launch of Facebook's Cloud-Streamed Games

Monday October 26, 2020 6:15 am PDT by
Facebook has today announced a new series of cloud-streamed games for its app and website, but the service will be unavailable in-app to iOS users due to Apple's App Store policies (via CNBC). Facebook explained in its announcement that the games will not be spun off into a separate cloud gaming service, instead remaining within Facebook's app and website. The first set of games...

Popular Stories

telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...
apple view concept right corner

Apple Planning to Replace the iPhone With AR Headset in 10 Years

Wednesday December 1, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to replace the iPhone with an augmented reality (AR) headset in 10 years, a process that is apparently due to start as soon as next year with the launch of a head-mounted device, according to a recent report. Concept render of Apple's rumored AR headset by Antonio De Rosa In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, eminent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained that "Apple's goal is...