People using iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV will not have access to the Steam Link app that enables you to play games over a stream running on a local PC. Valve Software announced the Steam Link app for iOS and Android on Wednesday, May 9, and it said that it had full approval to launch the app on Apple devices at that time. But Tim Cook’s company has since stripped that approval and denied Steam Link from appearing in the iOS App Store.
Valve characterized the rejection as a surprise, and I can confirm that it provided a sample Apple TV to GamesBeat during the testing phase to show how well the app worked with iOS. Valve says that Apple only pulled the approval after the public announcement of the app.
“On Monday, May 7, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release,” reads a Valve statement. “On Wednesday, May 9, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.”
I’ve reached out to Valve and Apple to ask for more details about those “business conflicts,” and I’ll update this post with any new information. For its part, Valve said that it appealed to Apple because it does not agree that the Steam Link app is in violation of any App Store guidelines.
“[Valve explained that] the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote-desktop applications already available on the App Store,” reads Valve’s comment. “Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. 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.”
For now, I’m quite enjoying the app on my Android phone, and if you want to try something similar and have an Nvidia GPU in your PC, you can download the Moonlight app that does almost the exact same thing and is Apple approved. That, of course, doesn’t make any sense unless Apple has some problem with Valve in particular.