Microsoft updates app to enable iPhone and iPad users to play Xbox games

Microsoft has released a new version of its Xbox app for the iPhone and iPad which will allow Xbox gamers to play their consoles remotely.

Unlike the xCloud games streaming service – which only works on Android devices – the Xbox app allows phone users to stream games which are playing on their own console.

Microsoft’s xCloud, which lets gamers stream games from Microsoft’s servers, has been prohibited from the App Store as Apple says the service does not follow its normal review guidelines.

The Xbox app is similar to the PS4 Remote Play app developed by Sony, enabling PlayStation users to stream their games to an Apple device over WiFi.

However the Xbox app doesn’t depend on both devices being on the same WiFi network, allowing users to stream their games even when they’re not at home – as long as the device is on and both have a decent connection.

Apple currently does not allow users to use their devices to play games using cloud computing – having the games run on hardware the phones are connecting to remotely – which would give gamers the ability to play higher-quality games on their mobile devices.

Microsoft has criticised Apple for not allowing its users access to the xCloud games streaming platform, as well as Google’s cloud gaming service Stadia.

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Microsoft said Apple “stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass”.

“[Apple] consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content,” Microsoft added.

It comes ahead of Microsoft releasing two new Xbox consoles in November, and Apple releasing four 5G-compatible iPhone 12 models.

The new Xbox models will hit shelves on 10 November. Pic: Microsoft
Image: Microsoft is releasing new Xbox models in November

Apple suggested that Microsoft and Google could comply with its rules to have xCloud and Stadia available in the App Store by submitting the games as separate apps.

Microsoft dismissed the offer however, telling The Verge: “This remains a bad experience for customers.

“Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalogue within one app, just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud.”

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