Apple Blocks Valve App That Lets You Play Steam Games On Your Phone

Apple Blocks Valve App That Lets You Play Steam Games On Your Phone
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Earlier this month, Valve announced an official Steam Link app that lets users play Steam games on their phones. Last week, the app came out on Android, with an iOS version nowhere to be found. Now Valve has explained why.

Illustration: Tara Jacoby

According to a release from Valve sent to Kotaku, Apple had approved the Steam Link app earlier this month. Then the tech colossus and avowed headphone jack hater un-approved it.

“On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realised by the original review team,” said Valve.

Valve appealed the decision, claiming that Steam Link is a LAN-based remote desktop app — something you can find plenty of on the App Store. However, that wasn’t enough for Apple, who turned down the appeal. Now it’s stuck in limbo. Valve added, however, that “we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”

For now, Valve has had its creation rejected by a major platform and isn’t entirely sure why. Come to think of it, the situation seems kinda familiar, but I can’t recall why.


  • Karma gonna getcha.

    But really, isn’t Apple just protecting its own eco-system? Why would it want people playing Steam games instead of games bought from the App Store?

    • Because those Steam games aren’t actually available on the iOS store?

      I typically think a lot of the hate Apple gets is from people just acting like the fanboys they claim to hate, but god fucking damn it, what the actual fuck, Apple?

      • I don’t see a huge difference tech/feature wise between apple and android. If I was buying just on those criteria. But when you add in the restrictive nature of Apples’ environment…. nope.

        There really needs to be a better explanation from them as to why they won’t let the Steam app be released on Apple.

      • I think that even though that’s true, that most Steam games aren’t available in the Apple store, Apple still view the prospect of playing non-Apple store bought games as competition.

  • I had already decided a couple months ago to switch to Android once my iPhone 6 dies which will probably be within one year, so by all means, Apple, keep becoming more and more deplorable. I’ll miss your basic GUI and nothing else.

  • More regressive shit from Apple. Still annoyed about the headphone jack situation! The only Apple product I use is the iPhone because I get them for free, but damn their decision making around various things….

    • The above is a tl;dr (amongst many other things) of why I never even started buying Apple.

  • Everyone calls out Apple. Which I do get.

    But there’s always the saying:
    “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

    Google’s business model makes me uncomfortable. It’s the same reason I tend to use DuckDuckGo instead of Google Search. Google want’s as much information on you as possible, so they themselves become more valuable to advertisers.

    No matter how you split it – Apple doesn’t do this. So sometimes that means I miss out on stuff like this.. but honestly, it usually means I get games/apps a year earlier than friends with Androids.


    • You’re right, and that’s part of why Apple is so popular… but Google’s use of information can be restricted (you can turn off suggested ads) and (so far as anyone knows) better handled than Facebook for example. Plus Google’s services are much better than Apple’s, probably because of that massive data set (no doubt it feeds their AI development too).

      None of that has anything to do with the fact that Apple have blocked this app for an entirely arbitrary reason – which they’re well within their rights to do, but it’s still a shitty outcome for the rest of us.

    • In both the Android and iPhone cases, the user purchased a product: the phone. in the Apple case it is obvious due to them being the single hardware supplier. In the Android case, if the phone comes with the Google Play store and related certifications, it is highly likely that Google is getting a cut from the hardware sales.

      You’re also paying again whenever you purchase a paid app on their respective stores via the 30% commission (or whatever the actual figure is). As a user, I’m generally okay with this for what I get in return: a single system to keep all my apps up to date, no need to set up financial arrangements with every app author, keeping apps isolated from each other, etc. I’m not really interested in them using that position to further their unrelated business ventures.

  • Apple’s business model is all about what they will let you do on their phone XD
    So glad I have Android where I can pretty much whatever I want.

  • I love my Apple devices … but it’ll be a tough sell to keep me in the ecosystem when my phone is due for an upgrade. The crappy HomePod vs. the delightful Google Home was the first strike for me … Apple Music (which I can listen to on … like … two things) vs. Spotify (which I can listen to everywhere!) was the second. I’m not-so-subtly giving consideration to the Razer phone if Android (or Steam) can nail gaming for me.

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