xCloud and Stadia need an App Store site to maintain leadership in app distribution.
The App Store has been characterized all these years by be the leading platform in the app market. The vast majority of new apps debuted first on the Apple platform, then on the rest. And they often maintained superior quality or remained exclusive to Apple devices. With the streaming gaming services of xCloud and Stadia, this has not been the case. And that is something that hurts the platform.
The App Store as the first destination for developers
Games like the Infinity Blade saga (from Epic Games, the same protagonist of recent days) debuted on iOS and never saw the light of day on Android. INSIDE is another acclaimed game that remains exclusive to the App Store. Monument Valley first landed on iOS devices to arrive on Android months later.
And not just games, it also happens with apps of all kinds such as Pixelmator, Moleskine’s Flow drawing app, Draft, Things 3, the popular Halide camera or the Overcast podcast player. And even though they are on both platforms, the App Store often offers a higher quality version. This predilection of the developers for the platforms of the block is not a coincidence.
Despite the conflicts that arise between developers and Apple, the former continue to make the same bet. Those from Cupertino provide innovative tools, open new possibilities, manage transactions and all related bureaucracy and they maintain a user market with a budget for software and payment services. It is a relationship in which all three parties benefit: Apple, users and developers.
Spotify, Uber, Instagram, Netflix, TikTok, and Candy Crush hit the App Store first and often offer a superior experience on iOS than Android
It has been in operation for so many years, that the average user is aware of this. And when choosing a smartphone from one platform or another, it has become a weighty factor. Not the only one, of course, but one taken into account.
An incomplete App Store without xCloud or Stadia
The App Store need that the services of Microsoft and Google, as well as all those that come after, are within its doors. In its own way, yes. But available to users of the block. Not having xCloud or Stadia, as well as the precursor of all this that was Steam Link and now also Facebook Gaming, leaves the Apple store lame.
The old motto of “there’s an app for that” would stop making sense if game streaming apps don’t make it to the App Store
And set a precedent that could change the perception of the end customer, eroding an edge that Apple has cultivated for more than a decade. Gamers who find it essential to be able to play on their streaming services will begin to opt for an Android phone or tablet. This could initiate a change in the balance of the current balance between Android and iOS.
It is a matter that affects the long term. We are interested in users have all possible developers, to keep them competitive and pushing high-quality apps. The current App Store rules may not be able to accommodate services like these, but they can certainly be modified to allow them under certain conditions.
When Apple gave his arm to twist
In the past, Apple has ended up adopting novelties for its products that seemed impossible. In recent times, the company has stood out for embrace functions that many considered impossible on the platforms of the block. Especially on the iPad, where we have seen big jumps in its latest versions.
Thus, the iPad has received successive updates to add these features, among many:
- Split screen for true multitasking with Split View and Slide Over.
- A desktop version of Safari instead of iOS, with a download manager.
- Support for external storage drives.
- Use iPad as an external display with Sidecar.
- Mouse and trackpad support with iPadOS 13.4, totally unexpected.
On the iPhone side, we see the widgets and the app library with iOS 14, but also the dark mode, the grouping of notifications or the third-party keyboards (the latter had its moment several years ago). The funny thing about all this is that they are often functions that when deployed, interest disappears. Like when you go up a stair step and you already take the entire section you just climbed for granted.
Incorporating the category of streaming gaming apps could follow the same path. Perhaps not in the way that Microsoft, Google or Apple hope, but by adapting and giving in until they find an agreement that is attractive to both parties. On the Cupertino side, it will be interesting to see how their three workhorses solve: that the app is not a simple catalog of apps, integrate the games in the rankings and search engine individually and see what happens with in-app purchases.