Google is gearing up to test a long-awaited iOS version of its Stadia game-streaming service — with a twist. To avoid the App Store's new and ridiculous game streaming policy, Google's making the iOS version of Stadia a web app, bypassing Apple entirely.
In case you're unfamiliar with that latest development, Apple basically banned game-streaming services under its draconian App Store policies — ostensibly because it couldn't review all content from all games, but given the hypocrisy inherent in allowing other streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, it probably came down to Apple not getting its
pound of flesh App Store cut. It later backtracked with a new set of guidelines that would allow them so long as game streaming services had a separate app for each game, which is even more ridiculous. Well, Google has found a way to circumvent Apple's insane policies entirely, courtesy of the magic of progressive web apps (PWAs). PWAs essentially allow Google to duplicate the app experience in a cleverly designed website that can even be installed like an app, all without touching Apple's NIMBY App Store gated community.
Google has confirmed that public testing for an iOS Stadia PWA will begin in "weeks," testing performance and features in the new PWA — so expect a few rough edges at first. To date, there aren't any other details (like where or how to sign up for the test), but expect to hear more later.
The news is part of today's one-year Stadia celebration, celebrating the quadrupling of its game library over the last year, hot on the heels of Destiny 2 going free-to-play for everyone on Stadia, and the recent Cyberpunk 2077 promotion that will net you a free Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller if you pre-order the game through Stadia.