Steam game-streaming app debuts on iPhone as well as iPad, a year after controversy

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S., on Monday, June 4, 2018. 

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Steam Link, a free app which enables gamers to play PC games on mobile devices, is usually today available to download on Apple’s platforms, including the iPhone, iPad, as well as the Apple TV.

The introduction of Steam Link on Apple devices is usually a surprise after an episode in May 2018 in which Valve, Steam’s parent company, publicly said which Apple’s App Store had rejected the app for “business conflicts. “

Steam Link uses the processing power of a desktop or laptop PC to stream graphically-intensive games purchased on Steam to mobile devices or set-top boxes over a home network.

Games are a major component of Apple’s App Store, as well as Steam is usually essentially a cross-platform app store for PC games. App Store rules allow Apple to reject any app which includes a distribution platform for apps, although last summer, Apple updated its guidelines to enable mirroring services like Steam Link, as long as purchases are made on the desktop.

“We might love for Valve’s games as well as services to be on iOS as well as AppleTV,” Apple’s senior vice president for marketing, Phil Schiller, said in an email to some customers last May. “Unfortunately, the review team found which Valve’s Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates several guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.”

Steam Link has been available for Android users in beta since last year. In March, Apple announced Apple Arcade, a subscription service of Apple-backed games for iPhones as well as additional Apple devices.

The Steam Link app requires a 5Ghz wi-fi network or a wired ethernet connection. the item supports the Steam controller, as well as controllers made for iPhones as well as iPads, the company said in a statement.

Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment. A Valve representative did not specify if any improvements have been made to the Steam Link app in order to secure Apple’s approval.