Last week, Apple announced third-party app stores would soon be available within the EU, allowing users to download apps from outside Apple’s App Store. Within the sea of information following the announcement prompted by a DMA ruling from the European Union, one big change seems to have gone under the radar — and it’s going to enhance the lives of gamers across the globe, not just in Europe.
With the launch of iOS 17.4, game streaming applications like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia’s GeForce Now will be available on the App Store, allowing gamers to stream their favorite games from a native app rather than through Safari.
As someone who has always loved PlayStation Remote Play, I’ve ventured into the world of cloud gaming over the last few months, and I’ve been shocked at the capabilities of these services that we’ll now be able to access on iPhone and iPad without jumping through hoops.
Game streaming rules (actually)
Before I start talking about my experience with game streaming, it’s worth noting that everyone’s experience will differ based on their internet speeds and connection quality. For starters, my experience with services like GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming is dependent on where I’m using my device in my flat, and while it’s usually very stable, sometimes moving from my Living Room to the Kitchen is enough to make a game lag. It’s also worth noting I have very fast fiber optic internet that can tackle most tasks with a breeze, and so for game streaming, it almost feels like magic.
In the past, I installed Xbox Cloud Gaming through Safari and used the workaround to play games sporadically via my iPhone connected to a Gamesir GALILEO G8. Now, with iOS 17.4, I can play directly from an official Xbox app once Microsoft updates its application for the latest update.
Streaming Xbox games via Cloud Gaming allowed me to play Game Pass titles like Forza Horizon 5 and Starfield with ease, but using Safari always made the experience feel a little too clunky. There was also the feeling that while it was cool to play my Xbox games on a handheld, I’d much rather just switch on my console and game, especially if I needed to be in my house with superfast fiber to do so.
It wasn’t until I tried GeForce Now that my experience with game streaming beyond PS Remote Play changed for good, and I’m so excited at the prospect of a native GeForce Now app on the App Store.
Why you should try GeForce Now, now!
GeForce Now has blown my conceptions of game streaming out the window, and I can’t stop playing Cyberpunk 2077 across all of my Apple devices because of it. What makes GeForce Now so good (other services are available) is the fact that it makes playing my games better than any other gaming setup in my home without forking out thousands of dollars for a high-end gaming PC.
I’m a console gamer with every current generation of consoles in my home, so my experience of games has always been limited to console versions across PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Truthfully, I never really cared about trying high-end PC graphics until a Steam Deck purchase opened my eyes to PC gaming. While I still play on a console, the Steam Deck opened my mind to trying GeForce Now as I wanted to play a handheld version of Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam with all the bells and whistles of an incredible graphics card.
As soon as I booted up Cyberpunk 2077 via GeForce Now with the highest graphical options and full RayTracing via Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card, I knew that game streaming would change the way I play games forever. Thanks to GeForce Now and its Ultimate tier subscription, I’m able to play games on my Mac mini and my iPad that look better than I could ever have imagined on my PS5 and Xbox Series X. I can’t quite put into words how good Cyberpunk 2077 looks on my 11-inch iPad Pro, it’s astounding.
I had seen compressed YouTube videos about how much better Night City looked on PC versus console gaming, but as I’m not in the market for a gaming PC, I chose to ignore the substantial improvements of the PC version. Now that Apple has announced native apps for services like GeForce Now are allowed on the App Store, gaming on Apple devices will not only be better but far easier to access, allowing game streaming to reach the masses like never before.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that gaming on my Apple devices via GeForce Now looks and performs better than any games console in my home, and that’s something I never thought I’d say. With my work day coming to a close, all I can think about is booting up Cyberpunk 2077 and living in Night City through the eyes of GeForce Now. Game streaming truly feels like the future, and with iOS 17.4, it’s likely to become the talk of the town.
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John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.
Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.
John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.
John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.
In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.