New App Store Rules Open iOS To Valve's Steam Link, Other Remote Mirroring Apps


New App Store rules have opened the door for the Valve Steam Link app, which was rejected last week, to finally be launched on iPhones and iPads.

The revised guidelines, which were announced alongside WWDC 2018, likely mean that Steam Link will be the first remote mirroring app for iOS.

Apple Rejected Steam Link App For iOS

Last month, Valve announced Steam Link for iOS and Android. The app will allow players to stream PC games to their iOS and Android devices, which will make it the closest thing to expanding the Steam platform to iPhones and iPads.

Apple, however, blocked Steam Link from the App Store. According to Valve, the reason behind the rejection was "business conflicts" with the guidelines for the App Store. Apple strictly regulates all purchases made through iOS apps, and Steam Link would have bypassed Apple's control and share over the purchases.

What Changed With The New App Store Rules?

According to the App Store guidelines, iOS apps are not allowed to host any platform that resembles an app store, or allow users to "browse, select, or purchase software not already owned or licensed by the user."

However, new App Store rules state that remote mirroring apps, such as Steam Link, will be allowed to contain an app store as long as the purchases that users make are processed on a desktop PC, and not on the iPhone or iPad where the app is installed.

The change allows Apple to maintain its practice of taking between 15 percent and 30 percent of in-app purchases, while opening the door for Steam Link and other remote mirroring apps that may be rolled out to iPhones and iPads in the future.

There is currently no word on when Steam Link on iOS will finally be available, but Valve will likely now gain approval from the App Store once the app is resubmitted. Steam Link is now available as an open beta for Android devices.

Apple WWDC 2018 Announcements

Apple quietly updated the App Store guidelines on remote mirroring apps during the keynote address for WWDC 2018, the annual event hosted by Apple for developers.

WWDC 2018 will run until June 8, but Apple has already made several major announcements. These include iOS 12, with new features such as Screen Time, Group FaceTime, and custom Animojis; macOS Mojave, with new features such as Dark Mode, a revamped App Store, and Stacks; and watchOS 5, with new features such as a Walkie-Talkie Mode, automatic workout tracking, and updated responses to message notifications.

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