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Xbox Game Pass can finally have a proper app for iPhone and iPad

Apple has made an important change to its App Store guidelines to allow video game streaming apps and other in-app experiences.

The update means developers can include streaming games and mini programs, chatbots and plug-ins that previously would have required standalone apps.

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The change seems most significant in the gaming realm as it will allow cloud streaming providers like Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now to offer native access to the games library.

Previously, App Store guidelines had meant providers like Microsoft would have needed to submit every game for approval. It never really made sense because the company doesn’t require every film on Netflix or album on Spotify to be submitted individually.

As such, the likes of Microsoft have only offered Xbox Cloud Gaming through a Safari web app. While the workaround has functioned relatively well, a self-contained app is preferable for all parties.

It opens the door for iPhone and iPad gamers to access their gaming libraries from a standalone app without going through the rigmarole of bookmarking a web app and creating a Home Screen icon.

Apple said the change comes in response to feedback from developers and users alike.

The post on the developer website reads: “The changes Apple is announcing reflect feedback from Apple’s developer community and is consistent with the App Store’s mission to provide a trusted place for users to find apps they love and developers everywhere with new capabilities to grow their businesses. Apps that host this content are responsible for ensuring all the software included in their app meets Apple’s high standards for user experience and safety.”

Whether the likes of Microsoft and Nvidia will rush out more capable streaming apps, such as those that exist on Android already remains to be seen. However, it’s great to see Apple loosen the rules a little bit and common sense prevail.

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