Microsoft xCloud iOS Testing Ends Ahead of Its Launch on Android, Apple Policies May Be to Blame

Microsoft xCloud game streaming technology’s testing on iOS devices has been stopped. The company recently announced that it will be bringing xCloud to Android devices on September 15 with no information on an iOS release. Now, as per a new report, Microsoft has stopped testing this service on iOS devices through Apple TestFlight programme but says that it still wants to scale cloud gaming to all devices. The company did not cite an exact reason for this, but Apple Store policies might be why its limited test run has now come to an end.

As per a report by The Verge, citing a Microsoft spokesperson, the company is “focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15.” The spokesperson said that the Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS but the team is still ambitious to scale cloud gaming on all devices through Xbox Game Pass.

Back when Microsoft announced the xCloud limited iOS TestFlight preview in February, it mentioned that because of Apple Store policies, the iOS TestFlight preview will have only one game, which was Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The preview audience was also very limited — up to 10,000 testers — because of Apple Store policies. Another caveat mentioned at the time was that the people who are accepted into the iOS TestFlight preview may not get to stay for the full duration of the preview.

These restrictions could be the reason behind ending the testing for Project xCloud preview on iOS. It should be noted that Microsoft has not shared a reason for this, or exactly which Apple policies are causing issues with the launch of xCloud on iOS.

The Verge also mentions that the issues may be related to Apple’s rules on in-app purchases and remote desktop clients, the latter being more problematic. On Android, Microsoft has decided to allow Xbox players to make in-app purchases through a version of the Xbox Game Pass app on the Samsung Store, effectively avoiding in-app purchases with the Google Play store.

To recall, Microsoft announced earlier this week that it will be bringing xCloud to Android phones and tablets from September 15. The service will be available in 22 markets and come with more than 100 games for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.

Is Nord the iPhone SE of the OnePlus world? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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