Google Stadia cloud gaming service coming to iPhone and iPad at last

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Google Stadia for iOS is going into public beta testing soon.
Google bypassed the App Store to make a version of Stadia that’ll run on an iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Google/Cult of Mac

Add Google Stadia to the list of cloud-gaming services that’ll soon be available for iOS and iPadOS. But all the action won’t be in the App Store — iPhone users will access Stadia though a web browser.

This is the same route other online-gaming services are also having to take because of Apple rules restricting cloud gaming.

Stadia for iOS finally coming soon

Google said today that it’ll begin testing an iPhone browser-based version of Stadia later this week. The release is expected “several weeks from now.”

Like all cloud-gaming services, Stadia gives phones and tablets access to console-quality titles. Although these often have hefty hardware requirements, Google’s service lets beefy servers handle the heavy lifting and it just streams the action to players. Players have access to titles from Rockstar, Bungie, Square Enix, Ubisoft and many more.

While there’s a Google Stadia application in the App Store, it’s not what you think. “You can’t use the Stadia app to play games directly on an iOS device, but you can use the app to manage Stadia on other devices,“ according to Google.

Google can’t release an iPhone application that plays games because Apple won‘t give Google carte blanche to make any game it wants accessible through its App Store. For the full version of Stadia to appear in Apple’s software store, every title that’s part of the cloud-gaming service would have to be approved by Apple.

Google’s solution is a browser app, an option Apple recommends. Cupertino says in the App Store guidelines, “There is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.”

A popular solution for iPhone cloud gaming

Several companies launched cloud-gaming services in recent months, and are coming to iPhone and iPad as web apps, just as Google Stadia is.

Earlier today, Nvidia revealed that GeForce Now will soon be playable through the iOS version of Safari. Plus, Amazon Luna and Microsoft Xbox Game Pass will soon be iPhone web apps.

It’s possible other companies will also follow suit. Facebook has complained that it can’t put its gaming service on iPhones because of App Store rules. It might well consider a web app if the other options are successful.

Via: The Verge and Ars Technica