Microsoft has ended Project xCloud’s iOS public preview today, August 5, and the limited way it tested the game streaming service on Apple devices, and the fact that it won’t be available on those devices for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users at launch, has put in question what the future holds for Project xCloud and iOS.

As reported by The Verge, Microsoft’s goal of having Project xCloud launch on iOS alongside Android has had some bumps in the road, mostly due to Microsoft having to “comply with App Store policies.”

These policies made it so those there could only be 10,000 testers trying out Project xCloud on iOS, and those accepted could only play Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This is in stark contrast to the public preview on Android that featured a wide variety of games to try for free.

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In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft confirmed the news, and stated how their focus for the September 15 launch of Project xCloud for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be providing the best experience possible on Android phones and tablets.

“Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices.”

Apple has very strict limits on “remote desktop clients,” meaning that “apps are only allowed to connect to a user-owned host device or game console owned by the user. Both the host device and client must be connected on a local network, too.”

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There could be a potential workaround with in-app purchases, but this remote desktop client rule could be the big roadblock.

While Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that this policy is the specific problem with launching on iOS, it is important to note that both Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce Now also do not allow for game streaming on iPhones or iPads.

Valve’s Steam Link app, which is currently is on iOS, took almost a year to be approved by Apple.

On the Google Play Store, Microsoft will not have in-app purchases, but it has partnered with Samsung to offer a special version of the Xbox Game Pass app that will “allow Xbox players to redeem tokens and make in-app purchases like buying skins or DLC items in the Xbox Store.”

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So, the future of Project xCloud and iOS devices is in question, but considering there are more than 1.4 billion active Apple devices in the world, finding a way to make this work would be a great benefit to so many.

If you do have an Android device,your public preview will last until September 11 and Microsoft did reveal some of the 100 confirmed Xbox games that will officially launch with Project xCloud on September 15. Additionally, it also revealed mobile accessories that will help make your experience a great one.

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.
Source: IGN Video Games All
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