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Apple Rejects Valve’s Steam Link App, Blocking Its Release

Valve’s Steam Link app, which allows Steam users to stream their library of PC video games to a smartphone where they can play them while at home, has been rejected from iTunes by Apple, effectively blocking its release on iOS, according to Valve.

The Steam Link app was originally approved for release on May 7, Valve said, and the company announced it two days later. But the next morning, Apple pulled the plug on 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 said in a statement.

Valve appealed the second decision, 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. But Apple declined to change its mind a second time.

“Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release,” Valve said. “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.”

The idea for the free app, which was initially released for both Android and iOS, came to the team at Valve in part thanks to the bathroom, the company’s lead on the technology, Sam Lantinga, told Variety.

The app used the same H.264 real-time encoding tech found in Valve’s physical Steam Link box. With the app, most of a user’s Steam Library of games are playable on their phone in 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second, but only when they are connected to their home network. Lantinga told Variety that it’s best if that network is 5 GHz, not 2.4 GHz.

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