Apple is both famous and infamous for its stringent quality control over its app stores but some developers, not just Epic Games, have always criticized its sometimes incomprehensible policies that are applied inconsistently depending on the app. Valve has learned that the hard way years ago when it first launched the Steam Link app for iOS. While that has been resolved, it took two more years before the macOS version of the app finally makes its way to Apple’s desktop platform.
Steam Link was previously dedicated hardware that allowed owners to stream Steam games from a single, powerful PC somewhere in the house to any other supported device, be it PC or mobile. Valve has long removed the middle man, though, and simplified things by only requiring a single Steam Link app. Regardless of hardware or software implementation, the concept remains the same.
That, however, didn’t sit well with Apple when Valve launched Steam Link for iOS. The iPhone maker claimed that the app violated its App Store policies, particularly one that prohibited any other content store on the mobile platform despite Steam Link simply being a remote desktop kind of software. After some back and forth, however, it turned out that Apple’s main gripe was that it couldn’t control what users would be buying from Steam, especially content it doesn’t deem appropriate for its users.
A year later, Steam Link was finally able to return to the iOS App Store for good with the one restriction that you couldn’t buy new games via that link and only stream games you’ve already purchased on Steam. Almost two years later, Steam Link is also now available on the Mac App Store with the exact same restrictions.
Steam is, of course, available on macOS directly but this would allow Mac users to use a beefier gaming PC or access titles that are available only for Windows, Steam’s main platform. That said, a fast and stable local network is required, preferably Gigabit Ethernet or 5GHz Wi-Fi. Controller support is also possible but only for MFi-certified controllers.