Microsoft ends iOS xCloud testing, launching as Android exclusive

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Microsoft has confirmed that it has ended its xCloud game service testing on iOS -- on the same day it announced new partnerships with Samsung.

Credit: Microsoft
Credit: Microsoft


Project xCloud, a game streaming service akin to Google Stadia, has been available for testing on iOS since early 2020. However, due to App Store policies, users could only play one game on the service and testing was limited to 10,000 players.

Ahead of a broader launch of xCloud in September, Microsoft has announced that its iOS testing is concluding starting on August 5 -- quite a bit earlier than the original Sept. 11 conclusion date. Testing on Android is set to continue, however.





"Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15," Microsoft told The Verge.

It isn't clear why Microsoft has given up on iOS in favor of an Android-only launch, though certain App Store policies could be to blame. Most likely, Apple's mandated cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions is to blame, with policies that limit how apps can connect to host devices a close second.

Google's Stadia is similarly unavailable on the App Store, and it took a full year before Apple finally approved the Steam Link app after an initial rejection.

Microsoft has also confirmed that xCloud will be an Android-exclusive platform when it launches in September as part of the company's Xbox Game Pass. And, more than that, Microsoft appears to be partnering with other Apple rivals.

At Samsung's Galaxy keynote on Wednesday, the company announced new collaborative projects with Samsung that include a special version of the Xbox Game Pass app exclusively for the Galaxy Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Stinking Microsoft. 

    Always trying to fight with apple. 

    And always banding together with the other also-rans 

    Lol

    Good luck with that
    BeatslkruppwilliamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    It's sort of a bummer. I'd guess it matters to someone out there, not sure about what size the audience really is.

    But Apple probably needs to look into issues with streaming game services. On the other hand, not sure I want stream my xbox games to my phone...like..why?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,527member
    Well.... this is a first.

    Time for Apple to take Apple Arcade seriously.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Stinking Microsoft. 

    Always trying to fight with apple. 

    And always banding together with the other also-rans 

    Lol

    Good luck with that
    Stinking Microsoft ... that is subjective so I will let that pass.
    Always trying to fight with Apple ... so they AREN'T supposed to offer products and services to compete with Apple's? If that is the case then Apple shouldn't sell iPhones because Microsoft was selling smartphones first. Or the iPad Pro because Surface. Or "Pro" smartphones with bigger screens because Samsung. Or AirPods or the Apple Watch because Samsung had their products first. Or HomePods. Or Apple TV. Or Apple TV+. Or Apple Music. Or iWork because Microsoft Office. Or Apple Arcade because XBox Play Pass. Etc. Meanwhile Microsoft has TONS of VERY PROFITABLE PRODUCTS where Apple doesn't even compete in. Oh I almost forgot ... no Apple Silicon because Microsoft (and Google) had Windows and ChromeOS on ARM years ago.
    Always banding together with the older also-rans ... you mean platforms that dwarf Apple's market share? Besides, it isn't as if Apple gave them a choice in the first place. More on that later.

    Lol Good luck with that. Again subjective so I won't comment. 
    elijahgwilliamlondon9secondkox2Beatsmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 25
    Beats said:
    Well.... this is a first.
    WRONG as usual. But this time it isn't QUITE your fault. It is the fault of the UTTERLY DISHONEST columnist WHO KNOWS FULL WELL THE REASON but won't admit it. The entire reason is that while competing full-fledged app stores like the Amazon AppStore and the Samsung Galaxy Store are allowed on Android, they are not allowed on iOS, iPadOS, watchOS or tvOS. 

    Let me give you an example. Razer once had (and Nvidia still has!) an Android TV devices with their own app stores that contained their own games and apps. Nvidia cross-lists their apps on the Google Play Store but Razer didn't. But on iOS/iPadOS/tvOS? Such folly isn't allowed. 

    Same deal here. Just like Steam and Nvidia GeForce Now, xCloud is going to be an app store for games. Apple only allows competing app stores - especially ones where you set up your own payment arrangements - on macOS. That is why xCloud was only allowed to test a single game on iOS. Offering multiple games would have violated iOS policies.

    In other words, xCloud will never be on iOS for the same reason that Nvidia GeForce Now isn't on iOS and why Stadia isn't on iOS. Think about it. Use your heads. Office 365 and all the other Microsoft apps are on iOS. YouTube, Gmail, Chrome and all the other Google apps are on iOS. So if there is a reason why xCloud (Microsoft), Stadia (Google) and GeForce Now (Nvidia, not even a direct Apple competitor unless you count their Android TV box that almost no one buys) aren't available then that reason begisn and ends with Apple.

    Let me spell it out for you. With iOS/iPadOS/tvOS you have TWO BILLION USERS ON A PLATFORM THAT IS BY FAR THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE PAYING SUBSCRIBERS INSTEAD OF PRIMARILY FREE-TO-PLAY OR FREE-WITH-ADS CONSUMERS. You have to be either TOTALLY NAIVE OR COMPLETELY NUTS to think that Nvidia, Microsoft AND Google made the decision to put their subscription gaming service - or ANY subscription service for that matter - on ANDROID but not iOS/iPadOS/tvOS. NO ONE ELSE - NOT EVEN GOOGLE - DOES THIS. I repeat ... NOT EVEN GOOGLE PUTS SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES ON ANDROID AND NOT IOS/IPADOS. IF ANYTHING GOOGLE INTRODUCES SOME FEATURES AND PRODUCTS ON IOS/IPADOS BEFORE THEY GET TO ANDROID AND CHROMEOS.

    So instead of allowing this columnist's creative obfuscations cause you to hate and resent Microsoft ... ask yourself why GeForce Now isn't available on anything but macOS either. Ask yourself why Steam isn't supported on iPads even though the A12X is perfectly capable of meeting its performance requirements (older Steam games can run on very cheap Windows and Linux hardware), Steam is on record stating that they NEED to diversify their platforms from being dominated by Windows AND IS GOING TO BE SUPPORTED ON CHROMEBOOKS LATER THIS YEAR OR EARLY NEXT YEAR. (That is right ... Google is going to enable and promote Steam on ChromeOS DESPITE KNOWING FULL WELL THAT IT WILL TAKE STADIA CUSTOMERS FROM THEM. Just as Microsoft has no problem with Steam, Origin or Epic despite fully knowing that they compete with XBox, even more so than they do with PlayStation or Nintendo.)

    I repeat. Blame iOS/iPadOS/tvOS (macOS not so much) App Store policies for this. NOT Microsoft. (Or Google or Nvidia.) No matter how much Apple sites like this run interference for them.
    edited August 2020 InspiredCodelkrupppatchythepiratewilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 25
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,164member
    Stinking Microsoft. 

    Always trying to fight with apple. 
    I don't think that MS always tries to fight Apple.  Look how, for example, Apple present them in their keynotes showing MS Office and Minecraft AR.  They were event mentioned to have MS Office for Apple Silicone devices.  
    And always banding together with the other also-rans 

    Lol

    Good luck with that
    Did Apple gave them other option?
    elijahgwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 25
    danvm said:
    Stinking Microsoft. 

    Always trying to fight with apple. 
    I don't think that MS always tries to fight Apple.  Look how, for example, Apple present them in their keynotes showing MS Office and Minecraft AR.  They were event mentioned to have MS Office for Apple Silicone devices.  
    And always banding together with the other also-rans 

    Lol

    Good luck with that
    Did Apple gave them other option?
    Thanks my good man. Now for an Apple site that is actually willing to tell the truth: https://9to5mac.com/2020/08/05/microsoft-ends-tests-with-xcloud-gaming-platform/
    "Microsoft hasn’t provided details about these App Store policies, but they’re probably referring to the fact that Apple rejects any app that offers its own catalog of apps or games within the App Store."

    But here's the good news: Android devices are relatively cheap. You can get an Android tablet capable of running xCloud for $60-$80 and a phone - with a 6.5' screen no less - for about $99. In other words, less than what Apple charges for a Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable. (If official xCloud support comes to Android TV ... they run as little as $50). So there you go.
    firelockwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 25
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,164member
    Beats said:
    Well.... this is a first.

    Time for Apple to take Apple Arcade seriously.
    I always thought that Apple Arcade was serious for Apple.  It's just that xCloud could be far better than what Apple offers.  And we, as customers, now are stuck with Apple Arcade. 
    edited August 2020 elijahgwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 25
    firelockfirelock Posts: 221member
    danvm said:
    Stinking Microsoft. 

    Always trying to fight with apple. 
    I don't think that MS always tries to fight Apple.  Look how, for example, Apple present them in their keynotes showing MS Office and Minecraft AR.  They were event mentioned to have MS Office for Apple Silicone devices.  
    And always banding together with the other also-rans 

    Lol

    Good luck with that
    Did Apple gave them other option?
    Thanks my good man. Now for an Apple site that is actually willing to tell the truth: https://9to5mac.com/2020/08/05/microsoft-ends-tests-with-xcloud-gaming-platform/
    "Microsoft hasn’t provided details about these App Store policies, but they’re probably referring to the fact that Apple rejects any app that offers its own catalog of apps or games within the App Store."

    But here's the good news: Android devices are relatively cheap. You can get an Android tablet capable of running xCloud for $60-$80 and a phone - with a 6.5' screen no less - for about $99. In other words, less than what Apple charges for a Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable. (If official xCloud support comes to Android TV ... they run as little as $50). So there you go.
    Your analysis is accurate. Though I think you would be more persuasive if you were a little less emphatic.
    edited August 2020 elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 25
    It's sort of a bummer. I'd guess it matters to someone out there, not sure about what size the audience really is.

    But Apple probably needs to look into issues with streaming game services. On the other hand, not sure I want stream my xbox games to my phone...like..why?
    You don’t need another device or download 100GB+ AAA games locally. Great if the TV is not available. These games are not in the same class as Apple Arcade were you can easily fit them in local storage.
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 11 of 25
    I like Apple Arcade, but this service doesn’t compete in the same space.  This still feels a little like Apple Books vs Amazon all over.  Apple doesn’t want to allow competing game services in, but Apple will also never do what is necessary to actually be competitive with other services that want to be on the platform. The consumer ends up having to buy redundant hardware from other companies or jump through other hoops because of App Store restrictions.

    Apple wants to run the App Store like a gaming platform.  The problem is gaming platforms are loss leaders for their stores.  iPhones and iPads are profitable general purpose devices.  I think that distinction matters.  If other platforms didn’t suck so much, this tight control over what is allowed on iOS would cause me to switch to another companies ecosystem.  I really want to see the platforms open to anything like macOS.

    The more I’ve thought about this, the more I’d like to see an official side-load option via a website download.  Allow corporate devices to disable the side-load.  Some app extensions could be for the App Store only for security reasons.  Apps would be responsible for scheduling their updates via an externally hosted ipa file. If Apple provides an alternative way to distribute apps then I think it is perfectly fine to exclude competitors from their store.
    edited August 2020 elijahgpatchythepiratewilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 25


    But here's the good news: Android devices are relatively cheap. You can get an Android tablet capable of running xCloud for $60-$80 and a phone - with a 6.5' screen no less - for about $99. In other words, less than what Apple charges for a Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable. (If official xCloud support comes to Android TV ... they run as little as $50). So there you go.
    I don’t think this crowd wants to have a slow android tablet with a cheap poor quality display.

    edited August 2020 patchythepirateBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    The question I have is why Microsoft even bothered with iOS in the first place? They’re not stupid and are well aware of Apple policies. Were they hoping Apple was going to change their mind?
    MacQcBeatsFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member
    I think, the reasons for this to happen are lying to deep for us to know and to analyze. We think to know very much about it, but this is not true. I am sure that Apple already did analyze the situation a long time before this article. So they know what they are doing.
    And to do this, Apple has already an answer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Apple has demonstrated over and over that gaming is not a priority for them.  Not even a secondary or tertiary.

    And while I, as a gamer, would prefer that Apple pay more attention to this market, that strategy seems to be working for them, and there are quite a few others for whom gaming is a primary, and those others are doing a great job.
    williamlondonInspiredCodemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Apple has demonstrated over and over that gaming is not a priority for them.  Not even a secondary or tertiary.

    And while I, as a gamer, would prefer that Apple pay more attention to this market, that strategy seems to be working for them, and there are quite a few others for whom gaming is a primary, and those others are doing a great job.
    Yup.
    Beatsmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 25
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 946member
    Beats said:
    Well.... this is a first.
    WRONG as usual. But this time it isn't QUITE your fault. It is the fault of the UTTERLY DISHONEST columnist WHO KNOWS FULL WELL THE REASON but won't admit it. The entire reason is that while competing full-fledged app stores like the Amazon AppStore and the Samsung Galaxy Store are allowed on Android, they are not allowed on iOS, iPadOS, watchOS or tvOS. 

    Let me give you an example. Razer once had (and Nvidia still has!) an Android TV devices with their own app stores that contained their own games and apps. Nvidia cross-lists their apps on the Google Play Store but Razer didn't. But on iOS/iPadOS/tvOS? Such folly isn't allowed. 

    Same deal here. Just like Steam and Nvidia GeForce Now, xCloud is going to be an app store for games. Apple only allows competing app stores - especially ones where you set up your own payment arrangements - on macOS. That is why xCloud was only allowed to test a single game on iOS. Offering multiple games would have violated iOS policies.

    In other words, xCloud will never be on iOS for the same reason that Nvidia GeForce Now isn't on iOS and why Stadia isn't on iOS. Think about it. Use your heads. Office 365 and all the other Microsoft apps are on iOS. YouTube, Gmail, Chrome and all the other Google apps are on iOS. So if there is a reason why xCloud (Microsoft), Stadia (Google) and GeForce Now (Nvidia, not even a direct Apple competitor unless you count their Android TV box that almost no one buys) aren't available then that reason begisn and ends with Apple.

    Let me spell it out for you. With iOS/iPadOS/tvOS you have TWO BILLION USERS ON A PLATFORM THAT IS BY FAR THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE PAYING SUBSCRIBERS INSTEAD OF PRIMARILY FREE-TO-PLAY OR FREE-WITH-ADS CONSUMERS. You have to be either TOTALLY NAIVE OR COMPLETELY NUTS to think that Nvidia, Microsoft AND Google made the decision to put their subscription gaming service - or ANY subscription service for that matter - on ANDROID but not iOS/iPadOS/tvOS. NO ONE ELSE - NOT EVEN GOOGLE - DOES THIS. I repeat ... NOT EVEN GOOGLE PUTS SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES ON ANDROID AND NOT IOS/IPADOS. IF ANYTHING GOOGLE INTRODUCES SOME FEATURES AND PRODUCTS ON IOS/IPADOS BEFORE THEY GET TO ANDROID AND CHROMEOS.

    So instead of allowing this columnist's creative obfuscations cause you to hate and resent Microsoft ... ask yourself why GeForce Now isn't available on anything but macOS either. Ask yourself why Steam isn't supported on iPads even though the A12X is perfectly capable of meeting its performance requirements (older Steam games can run on very cheap Windows and Linux hardware), Steam is on record stating that they NEED to diversify their platforms from being dominated by Windows AND IS GOING TO BE SUPPORTED ON CHROMEBOOKS LATER THIS YEAR OR EARLY NEXT YEAR. (That is right ... Google is going to enable and promote Steam on ChromeOS DESPITE KNOWING FULL WELL THAT IT WILL TAKE STADIA CUSTOMERS FROM THEM. Just as Microsoft has no problem with Steam, Origin or Epic despite fully knowing that they compete with XBox, even more so than they do with PlayStation or Nintendo.)

    I repeat. Blame iOS/iPadOS/tvOS (macOS not so much) App Store policies for this. NOT Microsoft. (Or Google or Nvidia.) No matter how much Apple sites like this run interference for them.
    Interesting read, but you sure use a lot of caps. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    danvm said:
    Beats said:
    Well.... this is a first.

    Time for Apple to take Apple Arcade seriously.
    I always thought that Apple Arcade was serious for Apple.  It's just that xCloud could be far better than what Apple offers.  And we, as customers, now are stuck with Apple Arcade. 
    Personally I've been fairly unimpressed with AA, insofar as I have cancelled it until it improves. There have been a few good games but most of it is just ad-free or IAP-free versions of existing App Store games.

    Apple doesn't want xCloud because it can bypass the App Store and with it Apple's control, and more importantly for them, their 30% cut. Same reason that Steam Link (essentially low-latency VNC) wasn't allowed on AppleTV until Valve removed purchases via Steam Link. Apparently doesn't matter that you can purchase things via any of the existing VNC apps. This is exactly the kind of behaviour that is attracting the ire of governments.
    edited August 2020 williamlondonInspiredCode
  • Reply 19 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Apple has demonstrated over and over that gaming is not a priority for them.  Not even a secondary or tertiary.

    And while I, as a gamer, would prefer that Apple pay more attention to this market, that strategy seems to be working for them, and there are quite a few others for whom gaming is a primary, and those others are doing a great job.
    IMO Apple is embarrassed that iOS is essentially a low-key gaming platform. Most of the money in the App Store is made through games.
    williamlondonBeats
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Stinking Microsoft. 

     Oh I almost forgot ... no Apple Silicon because Microsoft (and Google) had Windows and ChromeOS on ARM years ago.

    And Windows on Arm was so successful that everyone in the world is using it today.
    Oh wait... Nope. Got that wrong. WinTel/AMD still rules the roost.
    Beatswatto_cobra
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