Apps often land first on iOS, and maybe later on Android, but that's not the case with the latest app from gaming service Steam.
According to a statement from Steam, its Steam Link app, which has already debuted in beta on Android on May 17, was denied for release by Apple, for reasons best described as vague.
According to a press statement from Valve, published by the SteamDatabase twitter account @SteamDB, this kerfuffle almost didn't happen. The release begins "On Monday, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines," which the release notes "had allegedly not been realized by the original review team."
The Steam Link app — much like the Steam Link set-top box that plugs into TVs — allows users to stream games from the service onto their Android device. Currently available in beta on Google Play, the requirements for Steam Link on an Android phone or tablet are simple: your device needs to be connected to a nearby PC over a 5GHz Wi-Fi network, and that PC needs to be connected to your router via Ethernet. The process rules out LTE.
Valve, Steam Link's developer, appealed to Apple for reconsideration, citing the functionality of the Steam Link app as a LAN-based remote desktop app. Similar applications, Valve claimed, already exist on the App Store. Apple denied the request, and Valve ends its press release stating it hopes the iPhone-maker reconsiders.
The "business conflicts with app guidelines," referenced in the statement are unknown at this time. While other app-makers have taken issue with Apple's 30 percent cut of sales made through iOS, that doesn't sound like something the first app reviewers would have missed. Instead, this may have something to do with how Steam Link connects iOS users to Steam, a gaming app store that competes with Apple's own games section in the iOS App Store (which it began to highlight in iOS 11).
We've reached out to Apple for comment, and this story will be updated should we get a response.