The Steam gaming app debuts on the iPhone and iPad, one year after the controversy


Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., intervenes at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, United States, on Monday 4 June 2018.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Steam Link, a free app that allows players to play PC games on mobile devices, is now available for download on Apple platforms, including iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

The introduction of Steam Link on Apple devices comes as a surprise after a May 2018 episode in which Valve, the parent company of Steam, publicly stated that the Apple App Store had rejected the app for "trade conflicts".

Steam Link uses the processing power of a desktop or laptop PC to stream high-intensity graphics games purchased on Steam for mobile devices or set-top boxes on a home network.

Games are an important component of Apple's App Store and Steam is essentially a cross-platform app store for PC games. The App Store rules allow Apple to reject any app that includes a distribution platform for apps, but last summer Apple updated its guidelines to enable mirroring services like Steam Link, as long as the purchases are made on the desktop.

"We would like Valve's games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV," said Apple's senior vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller, in an e-mail to some customers last May. "Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's iOS app for Steam, as currently presented, violates a set of user-generated content guidelines, in-app purchases, content codes, etc."

Steam Link is available for Android users in beta from last year. In March, Apple announced Apple Arcade, a subscription service for Apple-supported games for iPhones and other Apple devices.

The Steam Link app requires a 5 Ghz Wi-Fi network or a wired Ethernet connection. It supports the Steam controller, as well as the controllers made for iPhone and iPad, the company said in a note.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment. A Valve representative did not specify if any changes were made to the Steam Link app to ensure Apple's approval.

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