Xbox app now has iPhone, iPad game streaming via Remote Play

Streaming is the big thing in entertainment these days, including in gaming. There are, however, two ways to stream games, with the most known one being the Netflix-style streaming from a remote computer ala Google Stadia. There is, however, another kind of streaming that lets you remotely play games already installed on a PC or console. That's exactly the kind that iPhone and iPad owners can now enjoy with the latest Xbox mobile app while Microsoft figures out how to get around Apple's cloud game streaming restrictions.

The likes of Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW only stream games that have been installed on remote servers and have been technically purchased by proxy through those services. In contrast, PlayStation's and Xbox's Remote Play features require you to own both console and game and that these can be run from somewhere at your home or room. The game is then streamed to your mobile device connected to the same 5GHz Wi-Fi network.

Xbox Remote Play has, however, one special feature that almost skirts around Apple's restrictions against game streaming. You can actually stream games from your Xbox console over a mobile connection, even when you're not at home. Think of it similar to hosting your own cloud game streaming service at home or, perhaps more appropriately, remotely accessing your Xbox computer via the Internet.

There are, of course, some limitations, the primary of which will be the steady connection the streaming will require. While the Xbox mobile app does support a long list of Xbox generations, only the Xbox One and upcoming Xbox Series X|S support Remote Play. And while you can seemingly control your Xbox console's basic functions remotely, there is no indication you'll be able to buy Xbox games through the app that way.

The latter might be an important consideration that allowed the Xbox mobile app into Apple's iOS App Store in the first place. Then again, Apple does sometimes revoke an app's approval after the fact because of some policy violation that it sometimes adds only after that incident.