Microsoft’s xCloud reportedly plans to bypass iOS App Store rules with browser-based app

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.

Photo via Microsoft

Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox brand, reportedly told employees in an internal meeting earlier this week that Microsoft plans to bring the xCloud service to iOS devices with a “direct browser-based solution,” according to Business Insider and The Verge.

This workaround is reportedly similar to Amazon’s solution. Amazon announced its own cloud gaming service, the Amazon Luna, as a progressive web app (PWA). It’s a type of webpage that can be launched within most popular browsers. PWAs can even be saved to the home screen.

The beta version of xCloud was launched on Sept. 15 only on the Android platform. While tests for iOS had been ongoing, Microsoft pulled the plug in August over uncertainty regarding Apple’s App Store policies.

The workaround solution is being proposed due to Apple’s strict App Store rules regarding game streaming services like Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia. Previously banned altogether, the company relented to the inclusion of such apps in September with one major caveat: each individual game title had to be directly downloaded from the App Store.

Microsoft continues to be unconvinced regarding Apple’s concession. “This remains a bad experience for customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. “Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog 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.”