Valve Releases New Steam Chat App for iOS

Valve has released a new free standalone Steam Chat app for iOS and Android that brings several of the desktop Steam chat client's features to mobile.


Steam users can now use their smartphones and tablets to see who in their friends list is in game or online at a glance, participate in group chats, send invite links, customize notifications for friends, groups and channels, and embed rich chat features like videos, tweets, and gifs in chat threads. The app is just missing voice chat, but Valve plans to add the feature soon.

The new app comes less than a week after its long-delayed Steam Link app, which lets you play Steam games on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, was finally launched on iOS. Valve first announced the Steam Link app in May 2018 and planned to launch it soon after, but Apple ended up rejecting the app due to "business conflicts."

Those conflicts were apparently solved when Valve removed the ability to purchase apps from within Steam Link. When connecting Steam Link to a PC or Mac, you only see the games you've already bought, and there's no clear option for purchasing content directly on your iOS device.

The Steam Chat app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Valve

This article, "Valve Releases New Steam Chat App for iOS" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Valve’s ‘Steam Link’ App Now Available on iOS

Valve's Steam Link app, which is designed to let you play Steam games on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV has finally made its way to iOS and is available for download as of today.

Valve first announced the Steam Link app in May 2018 and planned to launch it soon after, but Apple ended up rejecting the app due to "business conflicts."


Though Valve argued that Steam Link was similar to other remote desktop-based apps that provide access to a PC or Mac, Apple refused to budge and did not allow Valve to release Steam Link until now.


Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said in 2018 that Apple would continue to work with Valve to "bring the Steam experience to iOS and Apple TV in a way that complies with the [App Store] guidelines," and it appears the two companies were finally able to reach an agreement.


Valve said that it would remove the ability to purchase apps from within Steam Link in an effort to get Apple to approve the app, which may have allowed it onto the App Store. When connecting Steam Link to a PC or Mac, the main view is of your library, aka the games you've already purchased, and there is no readily apparent option for purchasing content directly on your iOS device.

The new Steam Link app for iOS lets you play your Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV by streaming them from a Mac or PC. The Steam Link app essentially mirrors the content on your Mac or PC to your device. iOS 10 or later is required, and Valve recommends using 5GHz internet connections for the best performance. Games can be played using a Made for iPhone or Steam controller, and there are also touch screen control options that put virtual buttons on the screen.


Pairing an iOS device to a Mac or PC running Steam is a simple process. Your iPhone or iPad scans your network for a Mac or PC that has Steam installed, and pairing is done through a code. A bandwidth test is conducted to make sure there will be a smooth gameplay experience, and then additional drivers may need to be downloaded on your computer.

The Steam Link app brings desktop gaming to your iPhone or iPad. Just pair an MFI or Steam controller to your device, connect to a computer running Steam on the same local network, and start playing your existing Steam games.

Requirements:
- iPhone or iPad using iOS 10 or higher
- Computer running Steam - Windows, Mac, or Linux
- iOS device must be on the same local network as the computer running Steam

For best performance:
- Connect your computer using Ethernet to your 5Ghz WiFi router
- Connect your iOS device to the 5GHz band of your WiFi network
- Keep your iOS device within a reasonable range of your router
Steam Link can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Valve

This article, "Valve's 'Steam Link' App Now Available on iOS" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Valve’s New ‘Steam Link Anywhere’ Service Streams PC Games to Mobile Devices, Excluding Apple’s

Valve today announced an expansion of its game-streaming app Steam Link, now named Steam Link Anywhere (via The Verge).

The original Steam Link app let users stream PC games on Steam to a mobile device within their home, but Steam Link Anywhere lets users stream games from their PC to any compatible device with internet service, excluding Apple devices.

Apple rejected the original Steam Link app due to "business conflicts," while the app went on to see a release on Android.

The upgraded Steam Link Anywhere will now only be available on Android, Raspberry Pi, and Steam Link hardware, starting today as an early beta. Valve says that players will need a good upload connection for the host computer and a good network connection for the mobile device.

Following Apple's rejection last year, Valve pointed out that there are many other remote access-style apps that are allowed in the App Store, so it was unclear why Apple was blocking Valve's app. Since that time, Sony has released its own game streaming app, allowing PS4 owners to stream and control games on their iPhone or iPad, from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.

Similarly, Microsoft this week has detailed work on its Project xCloud game streaming initiative. The service aims to provide Xbox owners a chance to stream their favorite games from the console to a mobile device, although iOS devices haven't been mentioned yet. "True console-quality gaming will become available on mobile devices," Microsoft CVP of Gaming Cloud, Kareem Choudhry, said. "Providing the 2 billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content."

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This article, "Valve's New 'Steam Link Anywhere' Service Streams PC Games to Mobile Devices, Excluding Apple's" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Valve Removes Game Purchasing Option From Steam Link in Hopes of App Store Approval

A few weeks after Apple rejected Valve's planned Steam Link app due to App Store review guideline violations related to in-app purchases, among other things, the company has made a key change to the app in hopes of getting it approved.


Namely, in the latest beta version of Steam Link on TestFlight, Valve has removed the option to purchase games within the app. Instead, the app now informs users that games are available to purchase on a PC, or Mac, according to Eli Hodapp, editor-in-chief of MacRumors sister website TouchArcade.
Moments ago, Valve pushed out an updated version of the Steam Link app to TestFlight testers which […] removed the ability to buy anything through the actual app itself. When you connect to your PC via the Steam Link app and browse the store, the button you used to be able to push to buy things has been changed to say "Available to purchase from your PC."
Shortly after Steam Link was rejected, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller explained that it had "discussed these issues with Valve" and would "continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and Apple TV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines," in an email shared by MacStories.

Steam Link app now says games are available to purchase on PC

Steam Link, unveiled early last month, will allow users to stream Steam games to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV from a Mac or PC via a 5GHz Wi-Fi network or a wired Ethernet connection. The app, originally set to launch May 21, will include support for both the Steam Controller and Made for iPhone controllers.

In his hands-on last month, Hodapp said the app works so well that "it feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all."
If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
Valve hasn't specified when it will resubmit Steam Link to Apple for reconsideration, and it remains to be seen if the change will satisfy Apple's guidelines, but it sounds like the app is one step closer to being released on the App Store.


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Apple’s Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve’s Steam Link App Was Rejected

Apple recently made the decision to reject Valve's Steam Link app after initially approving it, leading to many unhappy Steam customers who had been looking forward to the feature.

Apple has been silent on the issue despite several requests for comment, but today, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained the reason behind the rejection to a MacStories reader and other Apple customers on Reddit who emailed to ask Apple to reconsider. In the email, Schiller says the Valve app violates a number of guidelines and that Apple is working with the Valve team to rectify the issue.
We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve's games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.

We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone.

We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.
The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. As our sister site TouchArcade said in a review of the app, it allows for "real" PC-like game experiences on Apple devices.

"I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead," wrote TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp.

As MacStories points out, we don't know the specifics of the guidelines the Steam Link app violates, but Apple has strict rules for features like filters for objectionable content, in-app purchases, loot boxes, and more. Steam Link, as a remote access app, does allow customers to purchase Steam games without standard in-app purchase methods, which is likely to be one of Apple's main qualms.

Valve first announced the Steam Link app on May 9 after initial approval from Apple, but Apple later said the preliminary approval had been a mistake and told Valve the app was not eligible for release due to "business conflicts." Valve's statement:
On Monday, May 7th, 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 that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.
Valve has not commented on what features might need to be tweaked or removed to earn Apple's approval, and it is not clear when we might see a modified version of the Steam Link app available for sale if Valve is able or willing to make the necessary changes to the Steam Link experience.


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Apple Rejects Valve’s Steam Link App Due to ‘Business Conflicts’

It looks like Valve's planned Steam Link app for iOS devices isn't coming after all, because Apple has rejected the app due to "business conflicts."

In a statement, Valve said that Apple initially approved Steam Link for release on May 7, but ultimately decided to reject the app because of conflicts that had not been recognized by the original review team.
On Monday, May 7th, 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 that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.
Valve's appeals have not been successful at the current point in time, and the company is now hoping that media attention may spur Apple to change its mind.

The Steam Link app for iOS, which was announced on May 9, is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac.

Valve was planning to launch the Steam Link app this week, and Valve had worked to add Steam Link support for the Steam Controller and Made for iPhone controllers ahead of the app's debut.


Earlier this week, our sister site TouchArcade was able to go hands-on with the Steam Link app and said that it works so well that "it feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all." In what might have been a bit prescient, TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp said he was "dumbfounded" Apple was allowing it given how good the gaming experience was.
If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
As Valve says, there are many other remote access-style apps available in the App Store, so the reasoning behind Apple's decision is unclear. It is not known if Apple will ultimately end up reversing its position on the Steam Link app given the media attention, which has happened in the past, but we've reached out to the company for a comment.


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TouchArcade Goes Hands-On With Valve’s Steam Link App: ‘This is the Killer App for iOS Devices’

Next week, Valve is launching a "Steam Link" app for iOS and tvOS, allowing users in the Apple ecosystem to play Steam games streamed from a host Mac/PC (using either a 5GHz network or a wired Ethernet connection) onto an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. In advance of the app's launch, our sister site TouchArcade got the chance to go hands-on with Steam Link and came away entirely impressed by the quality of gaming that can come out of Valve's app.


TouchArcade reports that Steam Link works so well that it "feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all," and once it's set up (a "simple" process) the app is essentially the same as using a physical Steam Link hardware box or Steam's Big Picture mode.

The app doesn't just stream in-game content, but allows gamers to browse the Steam marketplace, purchase games, check their friend lists, play PC exclusive titles, sell things, and more. "There are no corners cut anywhere, it's the complete experience," TouchArcade says.

In the end, the site crowned Steam Link as the current "killer app" for Apple devices.
Overall, I have constantly found myself completely blown away by how well the Steam Link app works. If you have a gaming PC in your house, and an iPad or Apple TV, I do not think it is at all hyperbole to say that this is the killer app for iOS devices.

If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
There are a ton of more details to read in TouchArcade's coverage for Steam Link, including tidbits about stream quality, Steam/MFi controller use, the lack of potential for cellular gameplay, and more. To read the full coverage, follow this link: 'Steam Link' App Hands-On Preview - The iOS and Apple TV Killer App Doesn't Even Play Games from Apple's Ecosystem.

Steam Link is launching today for Android devices, while a launch for iOS and tvOS should be sometime next week, pending further approval from Apple.

Tags: Valve, Steam

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‘Bridge Constructor Portal’ Launches on Mac App Store for $9.99

Headup Games today announced that its Portal spin-off game "Bridge Constructor Portal" is now officially available for players to buy on the Mac App Store for $9.99 [Direct Link]. The game first launched on December 20 on the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and Steam.

The Mac App Store version of the game is priced to match the other $9.99 desktop version on Steam, coming in at $5 more than the iPhone/iPad app's $4.99 price tag [Direct Link].


Bridge Constructor Portal is a fusion of the Bridge Constructor and Portal franchises, tasking players with building bridges to connect pathways in order to safely traverse large pits and avoid falling to their death. These puzzles are blended with Portal's Aperture Laboratories setting, items, and characters. Elements from Portal include the companion cube, repulsion and propulsion gels from Portal 2, and GLaDOS's narration through all of the player's successes and failures.
As a new employee in the Aperture Science test lab, it's your job to build bridges, ramps, slides, and other constructions in 60 test chambers and get the Bendies safely across the finish line in their vehicles.

Make use of the many Portal gadgets, like portals, propulsion gel, repulsion gel, aerial faith plates, cubes, and more to bypass the sentry turrets, acid pools and laser barriers, solve switch puzzles, and make it through the test chambers unscathed.
Now that the game is available across mobile and desktop devices, Headup Games, ClockStone Software, and Valve are looking toward its release on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One "very soon." You can visit the Mac App Store today to download Bridge Constructor Portal [Direct Link], and it can also be downloaded for Apple computers through Steam.

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Valve Reveals Portal Spin-Off ‘Bridge Constructor Portal’ Coming to macOS and iOS December 20

Valve, Headup Games, and ClockStone Software today announced that the next iteration of the popular Portal franchise is launching later this month, in the form of a spin-off game tied into the Bridge Constructor puzzle series (via TouchArcade). Bridge Constructor Portal will launch on December 20 for macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux, and then console versions will follow in 2018.

Image via TouchArcade

The companies said that the new game "fully embraces the Portal license" while primarily focusing on the puzzle and physics elements of Bridge Constructor. Similar to past Bridge Constructor games, players will have to build bridges to connect pathways and safely traverse across chasms without falling to their death.
"Hello and welcome back to the Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment center."

We welcome all lucky applicants to Bridge Constructor Portal with our new vehicle-based test chambers, Quantum Tunnels and patented Aperture technology! For the last year we've been secretly working in our underground labs on the next iteration of the million-selling Bridge Constructor series. This new stand-alone title will release on PC, MacOS, Linux, mobile devices, and console, and fully embraces the Portal license, one of the most beloved video game franchises of the last decade.
The Portal elements come in with the gaming being set in Aperture Laboratories, as well as various in-game items that players can use to solve puzzles, like the companion cube and the repulsion and propulsion gels from Portal 2. GLaDOS will also narrate your progress and failure as you make your way through the new vehicle-based test chambers.


The price of Bridge Constructor Portal hasn't yet been disclosed, but those interested can expect more information ahead of the game's release. Bridge Constructor's paid iOS app is currently priced at $1.99 [Direct Link], so players can likely expect a price point above $2, considering that the game will also be launching simultaneously on Mac and PC as well as eventually coming to consoles, like the Nintendo Switch.

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