Facebook Brings Cloud Gaming to the iPhone with a Web App

Facebook cloud gaming is now live and can be accessed from the web app on iPhone. Facebook cloud gaming was in private beta and is finally available for all iPhone users. The service will let you play games like Solitaire and match-threes. Meanwhile, you can stream graphic-laden games from the web app.

Facebook users need to point their browser at a specific URL and pin it on the home screen. After adding the bookmark, a new Safari window will open and let you play games on full screen. Our first thought is whether Apple allows apps to bypass App Store? This is where it gets tricky. Apple bans apps from directing their users to websites. Apple has already blocked Facebook’s attempt to add standalone games on its app.

Even if Facebook manages to bypass Apple’s restrictions, it still has a lot to worry about. The biggest issue is that Facebook cannot advertise web apps within the Facebook app or add games to the app. Apple has already mandated that all games offered by a streaming service should be listed separately on the App Store. Else it can exist as a web app.

This is not the first time cloud-based gaming services are using web apps. Amazon and Microsoft have managed to get around Apple’s restrictions with the help of web apps. Currently, Apple doesnt distinguish between usual games and cloud gaming services. The App Store policy requires cloud gaming services to go through reviews and have their page.

Facebook users will get a dedicated gaming tab wherein they can play games like Angry Birds. That said Facebook could land in trouble since the games open in-app which is against Apple’s policy.  Other cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Google Stadia have been launched via Safari web app. It would be interesting to see how Apple reacts to Facebook’s new cloud gaming service.

[via TheVerge]