Apple Blocks Steam Link App For iOS Citing ‘Business Conflicts’, Valve Expresses Disappointment

Are Valve and Apple butting heads over Steam offering the ability to play games on iPhone and iPad?

Apple blocks SteamLink
Valve Corporation

Are Valve and Apple butting heads over Steam offering the ability to play games on iPhone and iPad?

Apple device owners who would like to stream games from their Steam library to their iPhone, iPad or AppleTV received disappointing news on Friday. Valve’s Steam Link app was recently rejected for release to the iTunes store and the company expressed its disappointment with Apple over the business decision.

The move to block Steam Link from iOS devices comes after the app was approved for release on May 7. Apple then rejected the app on May 10, following Valve’s official announcement of the app.

Apple reportedly cited “business conflicts with app guidelines” as the reason for the Steam Link app rejection. Valve correctly pointed out to there are already several apps on the iTunes store which allow users to access their PC desktop. It’s not clear what business conflicts exist beyond the ability to purchase and play games from a PC to a phone, tablet or AppleTV.

These types of conflicts are not uncommon on Apple devices, however. For example, users of the Amazon Kindle and Comixology apps cannot purchase books directly through their iOS device. They have to go to the Amazon website via a web browser to make those purchases.

For those not familiar with the Steam Link app, it connects a device like a mobile phone or tablet to a PC with Steam installed on the same household network. This grants access to Steam’s user-friendly “Big Picture” mode on the device along with access to service’s store, the user’s library of games, community features, and various web applications.

Valve demonstrating the Steam Link app on an iPhone.

Steam Link is currently available on the Google Play store for Android tablets and phones plus the Android TV devices. It is currently in beta testing, so users should beware of any potential trouble.

The app does require a solid WiFi connection to a network with Valve recommending a 5Ghz router for phones and tablets and the PC itself be directly connected to a WiFi router via an ethernet cable. Meanwhile, Android TV devices should be connected directly to a router via an ethernet cable as well for best performance.

A Bluetooth controller or Steam controller is also recommended to be connected to whichever device is running the Steam Link app.

Here is the full press release containing Valve’s statement concerning Apple’s decision to reject the Steam Link app (via PC Gamer)

“On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team. Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”