Apple has approved the release of the Steam Link app on iOS about a year after they rejected Valve’s application for approval.
Actually, the story of why Apple rejected the Steam Link app is arguably more interesting than the app itself. Apple never really disclosed why they rejected the Steam Link app in the first place. However, the popular theory at the time was that Apple didn’t want its users to have access to such a robust competitive marketplace via their iOS devices.
It’s quite interesting, then, that this approval comes not long after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Apple can face lawsuits over acts related to monopolization. Since blocking a competitor in such a way could almost certainly be considered an act of monopolization, it makes sense that they might suddenly have a change of heart regarding Steam Link on iOS.
If that is the case, then it’s certainly worth noting that the iOS version of the Steam Link app doesn’t actually allow you to purchase anything on Steam directly via the app. It’s possible the lack of this feature can actually be attributed to a Valve decision, though, since Apple does take a 30 percent cut from all app purchases and in-app transactions.
If you are going to download Steam Link for iOS, you should know that this version of the app doesn’t currently support the recently added ability to use Steam Link remotely to access any computer. That means that you’ll either need to have a strong WiFi connection with your host computer or an ethernet/router set-up to the same in order to be able to access your Steam account and play it via your iOS device.
While it seems likely that Valve will eventually update this version of the app in order to add some of Steam’s newest features, the shaky nature of the relationship between Valve and Apple in regards to this app’s approval leaves some room for debate.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.