Apple explains why Microsoft xCloud won't be coming to the iPhone

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  • Reply 41 of 47
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,650member
    mjtomlin said:
    mr lizard said:
    “App Store guidelines state that an app can't rely on streaming from the cloud”

    Guess they’d better shut down Netflix, Prime, and Spotify then. After all, as Tim Cook swore under oath last week, Apple treats all developers equally with the same rules to ensure an equal playing field, right? 

    Not the same thing at all. Those apps stream "passive" content (audio and video files), not executable code (games); they do not rely on streaming from the cloud as part of their execution. All the code needed to run is contained in the app bundled that is downloaded by the user from the AppStore.
    mjtomlin said:

    cropr said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Beats said:
    Microsoft thought they would get special treatment. They'll come along eventually. Android users hate paying for things and most knockoff devices have terrible quality screens and crap performance(Yes AI smart asses, I KNOW this is cloud computing, not the point).

    Admittedly I missed this line before posting the above:
    "App Store guidelines state that an app can't rely on streaming from the cloud."

    What about video like Hulu?


    The Hulu app isn’t streamed. The Hulu content is. 

    I’m with Apple here, but I’m not sure how this would work. We can’t have the game devs being charged once by Apple and then charged again by Microsoft. They’ll have to split the one charge between them.

    A video streaming app like Netflix is an app that get its content (the movie)  form a cloud server.  The app has buttons to control the content (change movie, rewind, forward, ...)

    A cloud gaming app like Microsoft xCloud is an app that get its content (the game content) from a cloud server.  The app has buttons to control the content (move, shoot,  ...)

    I am not a Microsoft fan,  and the X-Box is also a closed gaming system, but Microsoft has a point.  The difference of treatment in the App Store between Netflix and Microsoft xCloud is just pathetic.

    What is Netflix or another provider,  comes with interactive movies, where 2 or more scenarios are streamed depending on user input.  The difference between video streaming and gaming will become more blurry


    Rayz2016 said:

    This is frustrating because it feels very arbitrary. Apple likes to say everyone needs to follow the same rules, but is it really that bad to make an exception when a large number of users want it to happen.  Making unpopular decisions based on strictly following rules that Apple themselves wrote isn't a great way to win hearts and minds.

    It is often mentioned that Apple wants individual games to be listed in the store separately, but there are exceptions in the store.  For example the Jackbox Party Pack's are a collection of games in a single app. This is a good thing most of the time. I've hoped for some legal emulators by Nintendo or Sega. These should certainly be self contained apps.

    I hope that Microsoft will at least release the streaming app for home Xbox consoles. 
    Well, first, it’s not arbitrary. The rule is there to keep malware in the store down to a minimum. 

    Secondly, you’ve misunderstood the problem. Game collections aren’t the issue because they’re submitted for verification as a bundle. What MS wants to do is install an app that will stream other applications into an iDevice. These streamed applications have not been verified by Apple. 


    You may offer a single subscription that is shared across your own apps and services, but these subscriptions may not extend to third-party apps or services. Games offered in a game subscription must be owned or exclusively licensed by the developer (e.g. not part of a game publishing platform). Each game must be downloaded directly from the App Store, must be designed to avoid duplicate payment by a subscriber, and should not disadvantage non-subscriber customers.
    Now, you probably think, so what?

    So here’s a timely reminder of why Apple does this:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/08/05/now-fixed-exploit-used-microsoft-office-macros-to-hack-macos

    Here we have an app (Microsoft Office) compromising iOS because it can programs that haven’t been checked. 

    It’s the  same reason why Apple won’t allow apps to streamed then run. 
    Seems as if you've misunderstood the problem.  Simply put MS is offering what Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and all of the other streaming services are offering.  That's it.  Streaming Ori and Will of the Wisps on XCloud is no different than streaming Blind Spot on Hulu, Doom Patrol on HBO, or the Boys on Amazon Prime.  The only difference is a game is more interactive than a movie but the control function of either is essentially the same in a streaming environment: 
    1. Game and movie are hosted on a remote server and streamed to device.
    2. User input for game (pew-pew, hack-slash)  or movie (Play, FF, RW, Pause) is relayed from user's control mechanism (controller or remote) back to remote server
    3.  Apple doesn't vet any of the content from the aforementioned streaming services.  That content is covered by the MPAA ratings.  Microsoft's content is covered by the ESRB ratings.

    Your red herring about an MS exploit is just that, a red herring.  It has absolutely nothing to do with why Apple won't allow streamed apps to run.

    First of all, you're making way too many assumptions on how xCloud actually works. It is obviously not the way you think it is, because even Microsoft knows they cannot bring their service to iOS the way it currently works. I'm going out on a very short limb and guessing that xCloud does indeed download actual code in order to run games. Be it some proprietary bit code or micro code that is then translated to execute on the target platform. This type of thing has never been allowed on iOS.

    Interactive movies do not need to download executable code in order to work. The supporting app already has all the code needed to detect "triggers" in the content and react appropriately. That code was downloaded as part of the app bundle when the user originally downloaded the app from the AppStore.

    And let's not forget, that Apple did not deny the xCloud app - there isn't even one to deny. This is Microsoft saying under current AppStore policies, they cannot bring their service to iOS devices.
    Nope. That's total and utter FUD, you obviously have no clue how it works. The only code executed in the iPhone app is code to auth to MS's servers, code to pick up and send user inputs to the server, and code to display the video stream. And almost all of that code is Apple's. There is no technical difference between the Netflix app and the xCloud app. Both authenticate, both send user actions to the cloud, both decode and display video. It again boils down to Apple missing out on its 30%, so denying iOS users improved experiences.

    The whole idea is to bring unmodified games to iOS/unsupported platforms, if there was executable code from the game itself running there would be no point in streaming it, just run it locally. Having locally executed code also removes the advantage of the system, that it just works with no code needed by the original game dev.
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 42 of 47
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member
    Beats said:
    Microsoft thought they would get special treatment. They'll come along eventually. Android users hate paying for things and most knockoff devices have terrible quality screens and crap performance(Yes AI smart asses, I KNOW this is cloud computing, not the point).

    Admittedly I missed this line before posting the above:
    "App Store guidelines state that an app can't rely on streaming from the cloud."

    What about video like Hulu?

    Anyways, where there's a will there's a way. How did MS do the test flight? Thought the app had to be operating with the public.

    2. I have told you this before. iPhones are knockoffs of Samsung phones now and have been since 2014.
    Yyyyeahhh no...iPhones introduced working biometrics such as TouchID and FaceID that aren't fooled by photos, better low-light video and now photos, etc. Oh, and no model was plagued with problems of spontaneous bursting into flames. 
  • Reply 43 of 47
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,252member
    tmay said:
    Beats said:
    Oh Microsoft wanted the entire App to be streamed? WTF. Yeah, that's sketchy as heck.

    I still wonder how they had test flght working. They may have had a full app running on iPhones/iPads, then decided to pull it and think they'd get special treatment. If this is the case then Microsoft are just playing chicken with Apple to see who will move first. (Spoiler: Microsoft will).
    Once again, it isn't sketchy at all. There have been companies working on streaming games for years. Most of them were small who went out of business. Sony investigated it for years too but decided that they didn't have the resources or skills in cloud computing to pull it off. That leaves Nvidia, Google and Microsoft. Each one is playing to their own strengths. For instance Nvidia has a lot of expertise in virtualization so their solution is based on that, and they partnered with Amazon to handle the cloud stuff.

    Once again, quit it with the special treatment and playing chicken. This is a video game streaming service, and one where Microsoft already has 2 large competitors. Soon they will have 3 big competitors as Amazon will launch their game streaming service in 2021. Inevitably, the legacy console gaming companies Sony and Nintendo will have to figure out a way to get a product out. (Remember ... Nintendo was adamant about never, ever releasing mobile versions of their video games because the tiny screens were a bad experience ... then the Wii U happened. Now several Nintendo titles are on mobile, and their new "console" is actually an Nvidia Shield K1 tablet with a 6.2" screen and a dock.)

    Microsoft isn't going to abandon video game streaming in order to accommodate Apple's hardware-based strategy. Especially since they know that - unlike Google and Nvidia - the success of xCloud is going to come at least partially at the expense of their own XBox hardware. And no, Google, Nvidia and Amazon - who don't have consoles or even Apple TVs with Apple Arcade really - to compete with cloud streaming to begin with aren't going to agree to Apple's terms either. 

    And not just Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Video game companies that used to have consoles but don't any longer like Sega? Video game companies that never had consoles like EA and Ubisoft? (Google hired former Ubisoft execs, and are getting a number of Ubisoft games as a result). Video game companies who have embraced a cloud-centric gaming model from the beginning like Epic and Fortnite? (Fortnite mocked Stadia but is very much available on GeForce Now and will be on xCloud at some point.) And Steam? They have been working towards streaming their games from the cloud for years. 

    So no, Microsoft isn't going to blink and neither is everyone else with a vested interest in selling you games without forcing you to buy a $500 console or $5000 gaming rig first.
    I'm pretty sure that no one from Apple read your cry's of despair, but I'm guessing that you feel all the better for posting them. 
    It's a mental condition.
  • Reply 44 of 47
    mr lizard said:
    “App Store guidelines state that an app can't rely on streaming from the cloud”

    Guess they’d better shut down Netflix, Prime, and Spotify then. After all, as Tim Cook swore under oath last week, Apple treats all developers equally with the same rules to ensure an equal playing field, right? 
    Oh yeah exactly. Oh wait except don't they charge Amazon only 15%? Hmm, that could be a problem. 

    I'm always defending Apple and we're an all-Apple household (I even have 5 HomePods, so I'm indeed a cultist) except for having the One, PS4, Switch, and Quest. I just had a phone holder delivered and had been looking forward to using xCloud with my iPhone X. If it worked well, I wanted to get a 12.9" iPad Pro to have the extra space. But now I'm reluctantly looking at Galaxy Tabs. Never thought I'd buy another Android. Thanks, Tim.  
  • Reply 45 of 47
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,352member
    While I’m pretty sure no malware apps can make it from a streaming service into your iPhone, there is the potential of an application in the other end that does stuff such as in-game purchases, or links to external services that Apple has not authorised, like adult content or what not.

    I think they should just talk and iron out a verification plan/ method, instead of playing cat and mouse like this. How difficult would it be to organise that? And in the end I’m sure most titles would comply. And a couple of titles would have to change their in-app purchase system, or something like that, to comply, if they really wanted to.
  • Reply 46 of 47
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Beats said:
    This is frustrating because it feels very arbitrary. Apple likes to say everyone needs to follow the same rules, but is it really that bad to make an exception when a large number of users want it to happen.  Making unpopular decisions based on strictly following rules that Apple themselves wrote isn't a great way to win hearts and minds.


    Because if they allow one company to break the rules it opens the gates for everyone else.
    They make the rules.  They can change them if they want.  The rules are already gerrymandered around particular apps.

    I would love game publishers to see iOS as a real platform for gaming. I would love to see games with more depth then candy crush. iOS should be compelling for gaming with powerful GPUs that can match an Xbox in top models. Unfortunately Apple does nothing but work against attracting gamers to the platform.

    How the hell does enabling Xcloud help? If anything the opposite helps. Apple should encourage APPLE games not Xbox games.
  • Reply 47 of 47
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Beats said:
    Microsoft thought they would get special treatment. They'll come along eventually. Android users hate paying for things and most knockoff devices have terrible quality screens and crap performance(Yes AI smart asses, I KNOW this is cloud computing, not the point).

    Admittedly I missed this line before posting the above:
    "App Store guidelines state that an app can't rely on streaming from the cloud."

    What about video like Hulu?

    Anyways, where there's a will there's a way. How did MS do the test flight? Thought the app had to be operating with the public.

    2. I have told you this before. iPhones are knockoffs of Samsung phones now and have been since 2014.


    Oh Goodness I just read this. Talk about delusional. How does this logic work? Suddenly Apple's invention passes on to Samsung?

    Ridiculous.
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