Nearly a year after Apple rejected Valve’s game streaming app, Steam Link has finally been approved for iOS and Apple TV – meaning you can now stream Skyrim straight from your Steam library to your iPhone. Howard ’bout that.
The app, which connects your Steam PC library to other devices to allow you to play games remotely, has been available on Android since May last year – but Apple rejected it on the grounds of “business conflicts with app guidelines”. Apple didn’t clarify exactly what it meant, but it seems likely the company didn’t want another app store (Steam) to be accessible to iOS users – despite the iOS version of Steam Link not allowing direct purchases from the Steam Store (thanks, The Verge).
Earlier this week, however, the US Supreme Court passed a ruling saying Apple can be sued for monopolisation – and perhaps this decision swayed Apple to finally budge on the Steam Link issue (via GamesIndustry.biz).
If you’re thinking of trying out Steam Link on your Apple device, there are a couple of caveats: according to the App Store listing (and unlike other versions of Steam Link), the iOS app can only connect via local network, which is particularly weird given Steam Link was recently expanded to allow connection to any PC via the internet. The most likely explanation is Valve simply hasn’t gotten around to upgrading the iOS app yet, but perhaps keeping it LAN-only was an attempt to pacify Apple. Something to keep an eye on.
Other than this, you’ll need a 5GHz WiFi connection to your receiver device, and either a wired Ethernet connection or high-speed powerline adapters between the router and the host PC. That’s according to Richard Leadbetter, who last year tested Steam Link on both iOS and Android and found the app to be “a welcome addition to Steam’s functionality” – albeit with some slightly rough edges. Check that out for tips on how to get it all set up.