Google Stadia makes iPad gaming competitive with top consoles [Review]

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Google Stadia on iPad review
With Google Stadia, your iPad can run console-quality games.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Google Stadia could be the answer for anyone who wants to play console-quality games on an iPad. There are many big-name titles to choose from, and players can use off-the-shelf game controllers. This is cloud gaming — everything is played online so the service doesn’t take up space on your iPad.

I spent quite a bit of time playing Stadia games on an Apple tablet. Here’s why I recommend it.

iPhone and iPad can finally play Google Stadia games

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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

Google followed through with a promise to make its Stadia cloud-gaming service available for iPhone and iPad. On Wednesday, the company starting the process of giving Apple mobile devices access to console-quality games, including Cyberpunk 2077.

But don’t look to the Stadia application in the App Store — the subscription service must be played through a web app.

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.

App Store approvals mean major headaches for cloud gaming services

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Microsoft Project xCloud on iPhone
Despite a beta test, the Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming service isn’t headed for iPhone.
Photo: Microsoft

Google Stadia and Microsoft Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming services aren’t debuting on iPhone or iPad anytime soon. And the holdup isn’t for technical reasons. It’s about Apple’s App Store policy.

These services could bring desktop-level games to Apple mobile devices. But Microsoft’s offering definitely won’t debut in the App Store this autumn, and Google’s isn’t available, either.

Google offers 2 months of free Stadia Pro gaming service

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Google’s Stadia will run on MacBooks and iPads, not just Android devices.
This free trial to the Google Stadia Pro cloud gaming service gives your Mac, iPhone or iPad access to top-tier games.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google said Wednesday that it’s offering two free months of the cloud-based gaming service Stadia Pro to gamers in 14 countries. This includes access to nine games, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper.

The company is doing this to help combat feelings of isolation many might be feeling during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Google Stadia can now stream games to your Mac in 4K

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Google-Stadia
Stadia gets an edge over game streaming rivals.
Photo: Google

Google Stadia just got a nice little update that gives it an edge over rival streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now. It can now stream games to your Mac in glorious 4K (or Ultra HD).

Upgrading your video quality requires a simple settings change. You will also need a 4K display, and an internet connection that’s fast enough to handle 4K video.