If you can’t beat ’em, make your own. A Reddit user has devised a way to use Stadia on the iPhone. It is not as ideal as an official Stadia app but does get around Apple’s restrictions, at least for now.
Redditor Zach Knox (u/znknox) has released a browser app called Stadium on Apple’s App Store. Once installed, the browser will start up on the Stadia home page after a few changes to the settings and account authentication. Knox says there is no tracking code or ads for the app, but keep in mind this is third-party software with its inherent risks, the primary of which is being nixed by Apple.
A second Redditor who goes by u/GrayBayPlay previously created some Xcode that integrates an Xbox or DualShock 4 controller with Stadia in full-screen mode. Knox used Gray’s controller algorithms within Stadium. Since the controller code uses some APIs exclusive to iOS14, users will want to fully update their iPhone before using the app.
Apple has given Google and Microsoft the go-ahead to release Stadia and xCloud apps on the App Store, but walled-garden restrictions are making development prohibitive. Microsoft said that Cupertino’s rules make for a “bad experience for customers,” specifically, that cloud gaming platforms must release their games on the App Store individually for “review” purposes. Doing this is easier said than done when your games are supposed to run off a server and not the device itself. So development of an xCloud app for iOS is stalled.
Given Apple’s recent struggles with Epic and others, its “review” rules are more likely to ensure it sees its 30-percent cut from game sales. Either way, it is unclear whether Google or Microsoft will ever release cloud gaming apps on Apple devices unless Cupertino loosens it restrictions. Meanwhile, workarounds from creatives like Knox and GrayBayPlay might have to do, that is until Apple pulls the plug on such apps.