Valve not giving up, rolls out new Steam Link beta for iOS, Apple TV

Posted:
in iOS
Valve Software is having another go at bringing the Steam Link game-streaming app to iOS and tvOS following Apple's public refusal to list the app in the App Store.




A new beta for Steam Link has appeared on TestFlight, Apple's testing framework for iOS developers, with the app identified as version 1.1 (1.1.6). There are no test notes in TestFlight for the software, suggesting that Valve only wants performance-related feedback, rather than testing any specific part of the app.

Steam Link is an extension of Valve's existing In-Home Streaming function for the Steam client, allowing gamers to stream gameplay video from a Mac or PC to another device across the network. This in effect allows for games on a more powerful computer to be played elsewhere in the home, with the app in question making it possible to do so on an iPhone, iPad, or an Apple TV.




Originally intended for launch in the week of May 21, it was discovered on May 24 that Apple had rejected the app from being distributed through the App Store. It was also revealed the app was approved by Apple on May 7, but revoked three days later for "business conflicts with app guidelines" that the original review team didn't recognize.

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller shed more light on the refusal, noting it "violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc." Schiller advised Apple had disclosed the problems with Valve, and would continue to work with the company to bring the app within the App Store guidelines.

AppleInsider's testing of the Steam Link app showed it does not immediately allow users to buy Steam games, but a number of workarounds were discovered that enabled purchases to take place. Under App Store guidelines, apps must use Apple's own transaction system for in-app purchases of digital content, providing the company with 30 percent of the revenue, or act as a "reader" app to access the content without permitting purchases at all.





On June 4, Apple posted new App Store Review Guidelines prohibiting developers of PC-mirroring apps from displaying a "store-like interface" in their apps, and to avoid providing mechanisms to browse or purchase "software not already owned or licensed by the user."

One concession Apple provides to the rule is that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." In the case of Steam, the iOS app itself couldn't be used to buy content, but it could be used to access an online store on the host PC or Mac to perform the transaction.

AppleInsider is testing out the new Steam Link beta, and will report if there are significant changes to how the app operates.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,101member
    I’m guessing Valve thinks the hassle is worth it?
    jbdragonlamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    appleinsider said:
    One concession Apple provides to the rule is that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." In the case of Steam, the iOS app itself couldn't be used to buy content, but it could be used to access an online store on the host PC or Mac to perform the transaction.
    So, with this statement, I'm now not sure what rules Valve broke initially? This seems to suggest that the way it worked - mirroring the screen on a PC/Mac - was fair game?
  • Reply 4 of 27

    If apps can't allow purchases through a remote connection to a computer, then how are any remote desktop apps allowed on the app store?

    Especially interesting is Moonlight... I can fire up moonlight and open steam big picture mode and have full access.

    edited June 2018 tylersdad
  • Reply 5 of 27
    vannygeevannygee Posts: 44member
    adm1 said:
    appleinsider said:
    provided the transactions are processed on the host device
    So, with this statement, I'm now not sure what rules Valve broke initially? This seems to suggest that the way it worked - mirroring the screen on a PC/Mac - was fair game?
    The mirrored software in fact carries out the transaction on a device other than the host device
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 921member
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    edited June 2018 nunzy
  • Reply 7 of 27
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,124member
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,886member
    And they shouldn't give up. They just need to work with Apple to make it right. 
    MacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,990member
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour.
    Nope.  Apple has seen every scam in the book by developers who think they're clever by trying to find workarounds to the in-app purchase system, embed bitcoin miners, etc.  Sorry, but this ain't like exploiting loopholes in the taxation system to avoid taxes.  Apple will close these loopholes and avenues of exploitation as fast as their found.
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    macxpress said:
    And they shouldn't give up. They just need to work with Apple to make it right. 
    Totally agree.  I hope they work it out.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,834member
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    Why does Apple deserve a cut for a purchase that they are not processing, for software they are not hosting? Especially when the software that is actually doing the real work of rendering the store and payment interface is on a completely different Apple platform, and for which Apple does not take a cut?

    Very befuddling why there are so many Apple cheerleaders for an issue which deprives users of functionality for arbitrary rules.
    singularityelijahg
  • Reply 13 of 27
    KITAKITA Posts: 186member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    Why does Apple deserve a cut for a purchase that they are not processing, for software they are not hosting? Especially when the software that is actually doing the real work of rendering the store and payment interface is on a completely different Apple platform, and for which Apple does not take a cut?

    Very befuddling why there are so many Apple cheerleaders for an issue which deprives users of functionality for arbitrary rules.
    The moment Apple does something anti-user, suddenly, these cheerleaders become shareholders with an Apple vs The World mentality.

    It's so obvious that Apple is in the wrong here.
    singularityelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 27
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 155member
    vannygee said:
    adm1 said:
    appleinsider said:
    provided the transactions are processed on the host device
    So, with this statement, I'm now not sure what rules Valve broke initially? This seems to suggest that the way it worked - mirroring the screen on a PC/Mac - was fair game?
    The mirrored software in fact carries out the transaction on a device other than the host device
    No, I don't think it did. Can you provide a link to a source explaining what part of the trandaction was performed on iOS?
  • Reply 15 of 27
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    Here is Spotifys opening??  App developers are going to push the boundaries with this one...
  • Reply 16 of 27
    icoco3 said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    Here is Spotifys opening??  App developers are going to push the boundaries with this one...
    I don’t think Spotify will try to come up with some scheme to cheat Apple out of their cut. Even if they tried, it’s apparent Apple would not sit back and let them. 

    If developers want access to the near-billion customers Apple’s App Store provides access to, they don’t get a free ride; they have to pay the commission like everyone else. Steam sees the value of being able to sell to hundreds of millions of customers, and they’re willing to play by the rules. It’s good for Apple and good for Steam. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    Why does Apple deserve a cut for a purchase that they are not processing, for software they are not hosting? Especially when the software that is actually doing the real work of rendering the store and payment interface is on a completely different Apple platform, and for which Apple does not take a cut?

    Very befuddling why there are so many Apple cheerleaders for an issue which deprives users of functionality for arbitrary rules.
    Because they are Apple's customers and Apple's neighborhood. If you want to do business in Apple's territory, you need to kick up to Apple. It has always been like that, ever since the old days
  • Reply 18 of 27
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 921member
    jbdragon said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Constructive, good one.

    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour.
    Nope.  Apple has seen every scam in the book by developers who think they're clever by trying to find workarounds to the in-app purchase system, embed bitcoin miners, etc.  Sorry, but this ain't like exploiting loopholes in the taxation system to avoid taxes.  Apple will close these loopholes and avenues of exploitation as fast as their found.
    Valve didn't attempt to use any loopholes. The original version they submitted to Apple had access to the store blocked. applemagic said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    See above.

    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    Why does Apple deserve a cut for a purchase that they are not processing, for software they are not hosting? Especially when the software that is actually doing the real work of rendering the store and payment interface is on a completely different Apple platform, and for which Apple does not take a cut?

    Very befuddling why there are so many Apple cheerleaders for an issue which deprives users of functionality for arbitrary rules.
    Exactly. It's not like Apple's exactly short of money even if Valve were intentionally trying to bypass Apple's rules. All this does is reduce the breadth of useful software on the App Store, they'd obviously prefer fart apps.

    Not only that, VNC apps have been allowed for years. It's possible to purchase things via those. I think Apple's reaction was a bit knee-jerk, and they have realised now if they did try and block these kinds of things they'd get the anticompetitive hammer. That could result in them being forced to allow a competing App Store, which from Apple's point of view would be the worst possible thing. In any case is they're not really competing with Valve, it's a totally different class of game to that of the ones on iOS. If Apple put some effort into getting devs to write for the AppleTV, it would be a great gaming console. But they are completely disinterested in games for anything other than iOS on iPhone and iPad.
    edited June 2018 djsherly
  • Reply 19 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
    Why does Apple deserve a cut for a purchase that they are not processing, for software they are not hosting? Especially when the software that is actually doing the real work of rendering the store and payment interface is on a completely different Apple platform, and for which Apple does not take a cut?

    Very befuddling why there are so many Apple cheerleaders for an issue which deprives users of functionality for arbitrary rules.
    So you don't understand the App Store then.  Check the revenues those that utilize it have made.  Valve are not stupid, they have done the math.  Any company wanting to join pays the piper but it certainly seems to be worth while.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member

    icoco3 said:
    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    Here is Spotifys opening??  App developers are going to push the boundaries with this one...
    I don’t think Spotify will try to come up with some scheme to cheat Apple out of their cut. Even if they tried, it’s apparent Apple would not sit back and let them. 

    If developers want access to the near-billion customers Apple’s App Store provides access to, they don’t get a free ride; they have to pay the commission like everyone else. Steam sees the value of being able to sell to hundreds of millions of customers, and they’re willing to play by the rules. It’s good for Apple and good for Steam. 
    Exactly.  No different to the cost and benefit a retailer gets by being in a very upscale Mall.
    edited June 2018 watto_cobra
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