Apple won't allow Microsoft xCloud or Google Stadia on iOS because of strict App Store guidelines that make cloud services effectively impossible to operate on the iPhone. In a statement to Business Insider, Apple finally came out and explained why these cloud services cannot exist on its platform. The Verge reports: The primary reason: they offer access to apps Apple can't individually review. Here's the official Apple statement: "The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers. Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store." In other words, unless it's a full remote desktop app, a cloud gaming service is not allowed as these guidelines are written today -- even though very narrowly tailored LAN services like Steam Link and Sony's PS4 Remote Play are. Google and Microsoft probably don't want to offer signup options within the apps themselves because that would mean giving Apple a 30 percent cut of subscription revenue, but apps without "account creation" options violate section (c). Abiding by section (a) is also impossible considering these cloud servers on which the games are running are not owned by and located in the homes of consumers, but placed in data centers far away. And section (e) just flat out says this type of thing -- a "thin client for cloud-based app" -- can't exist in the App Store at all; it's not "appropriate," Apple says. [...] What does all this mean? Well, for now, iOS users are going to be missing out on the mobile-centric cloud gaming wave that's set to arrive with xCloud's launch. There is conceivably a way Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia could find ways around this by changing the core functionality of their respective apps.
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