Yesterday, Amazon announced a series of new products and services to be added to its catalogue. Among them is Luna, a service of streaming of video games that cost $5.99 a month (at least at the beginning) and that are starting up in the USA. The novelty of this system is that it is web-based, so from the beginning Luna will be available for iPhone and iPadin addition to the Mac.
The latter draws a lot of attention, as the App Store began to allow services of gaming in the cloud recently and under certain conditions. However, as Apple pointed out, these services may choose to reach their users online without having to submit to the rules of your app store. And that’s exactly what Amazon has done.
Progressive Web App, a gateway to iOS without going through the App Store
In recent months there was some controversy because the App Store rules did not contemplate services like this. Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud were for all intents and purposes out of the store. Recently, Apple has opened the rules to allow this type of service, although with certain conditions.
Of course, open internet and web browsing apps are always available to reach all users outside the App Store.
This phrase is included in the 4.9 rule that regulates streaming games on the App Store. It is Apple itself that invites developers to use Safari or any browser to offer your cloud services gaming. And that’s precisely what Amazon has done with Luna, according to Engadget:
Luna is a progressive web application (PWA), which means that it is actually a web-based program disguised as a native iOS app. You’ll download the PWA from Luna’s website and the resulting icon on your iPhone’s home page will work as a shortcut to Amazon’s gaming cloud web portal.
Luna will be present from the beginning in both iOS and iPadOS through this system, in addition to macOS and other platforms (except Android, which will arrive later). An Amazon executive says to have been working with the Safari team to “make sure some of the things that weren’t there were,” getting the service to the iPhone.
Good news for iOS users also on the xCloud front
We will continue to work with Apple. We’d love to have the native experience. They’re assessing your standards there, talking about them. And when we can get a good experience there, we will too.
Marc Whitten, head of Luna, said this in the Engadget interview. For the time being, Amazon seems to be satisfied being able to offer their service via PWA. Unlike a native app, PWAs cannot invoke bluetooth connections to connect a remote control. That’s why they have created their own that connects directly to their cloud via Wi-Fi.
When you use Safari with a PWA, services like Luna don’t need Apple’s approval to run on an iPhone or iPad
Earlier this week, Microsoft made a statement showing interest in bringing xCloud and your Game Pass to iOS. Specifically, Xbox manager Phil Spencer said
We are committed to bringing Game Passes to all mobile phones out there, including Apple phones. We will continue the discussions and I am sure we will be able to come up with a solution.
He claimed to be talking a lot with Apple and was sure they would come to an agreement, sooner or later. With both news, Apple users will win a piece that is going to be a fundamental growth vector in the field gaming for the next few years.