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New App Store rules leave door ajar for Valve’s Steam Link

While Apple was showing off its new software at WWDC on Monday, the company quietly updated its App Store guidelines, in a move that could open the door for Valve’s rejected Steam Link app.

Apple initially blocked the PC game streaming app from iOS and tvOS due to App Store guidelines on competing products. However, the updated rules on screen mirroring apps could enable Steam Link to take its place on the App Store.

The new Remote Application Mirroring policy states that as long as the iPad, iPhone or Apple TV device is simply showing what’s on the screen of the necessary connected PC, then it’s welcome on the App Store. That’s exactly what the Steam Link app attempts to do.

Here are Apple’s new rules, published on Apple’s developer website (via Reuters):

It represents a rare case of Apple bending somewhat to suit a third-party, but it doesn’t mean Valve will get its own way either.

The new rules forbid a ‘store-like’ interface, so the Apple version of Steam Link, might force Valve to restrict access to the user’s game library.

Such a move enables also Apple to ensure Steam Link isn’t sneaking a store of its own within the App Store, without paying Apple’s required 30% cut.

Related: WWDC 2018

Neither Valve nor Apple had not commented on the Steam Link rejection, but the app is currently available on Google Android and Android TV devices in beta.

However, last month, Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller reportedly emailed an App Store customer to say he’d “love” for Steam Link to take its place on the App Store.

He said: “We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store We would love for Valve’s games and services to be on iOS and Apple TV.”

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