The situation for games streaming on Apple devices is dire. Whether you’re an iPhone or iPad owner, there are currently no official ways to stream games with Google Stadia or Microsoft’s Xbox Game Streaming. And very soon, the one unofficial way will be forced off the App Store.
Stadium is a third-party application that allowed streaming from Google Stadia on iOS devices by providing a web-based bridge between the service and your device. Essentially, Stadium was just a new web browser that was able to reliably run Stadia games, while supporting Bluetooth controllers connected to your iOS device. It turns out that last feature is part of the reason why Apple is kicking the app off its App Store, which isn’t surprising to its developer.
Zachary Knox, the developer of Stadium, explained in a Reddit post that the app utilized extensions that allowed controllers to communicate with Apple’s internal WebKit API (the backbone of all browsers on iOS). This is in violation of Apple’s rules, which were cited as the reason for the app’s removal. The functionality of the app, which allows game streaming despite Apple’s own reservations over native streaming apps, was not mentioned.
“While I am obviously disappointed by this, I don’t resent Apple for this decision,” Knox wrote. “They didn’t want their native frameworks and WebKit interacting how I had them working.”
Knox says that users still interested in using Stadium should download the app now before it’s removed, while existing users will be able to continue streaming as long as they do not delete the app. Knox is also planning to release the source code for the app soon.
Streaming via a browser is seemingly how companies like Google and Microsoft will circumvent Apple’s rules for streaming. Amazon’s own Luna service will be supporting iOS through a browser when it launches, a method which Microsoft is reportedly planning to follow in future too. Microsoft just launched its new Xbox app for iOS, which now supports streaming from your Xbox One.