Steam Link is a fantastic remote play feature that lets you play your PC games on Steam on your mobile devices via streaming- much like the similar functionality offered by Nvidia, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. The app has already been available on Android in beta for a few weeks now- however, the iOS release of the app has been blocked by none other than Apple themselves.
“On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release.” Valve’s statement on the matter reads. “The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.
“The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”
Now, the thing here is that Apple already allows remote desktop apps on iOS, so this is a bit puzzling- however, it seems like, according to what Apple VP Phil Schiller says, this may have more to do with what Steam is than anything else. Steam as a platform boots directly into its storefront, which means iPhone users on Steam Link could theoretically use the app to make a Steam game purchase and then play that game on their phone- all without Apple ever getting a cut from the transaction, as it currently does from all transactions on iOS platforms. Add to that Steam’s open nature, which allows for modification of files and user generated content (including content Apple deems objectionable and blocks, such as pornographic content), and you begin to see why Apple may have blocked the app.
Just kidding. Absolutely nothing justifies this move, and this is another example of Apple being controlling freaks and keeping anything they deem inconvenient off their platform. This is the kind of closed garden setup that led so many people to opt for Android instead (and once upon a time, Windows over Mac). You’d think they’d begin relenting on this by now.