AI Parallel Universe

Amazon’s new app, Luna, is not a traditional app and won’t appear in the App Store

Apple does n’t allow Google stadia in anything close to its current form. Amazon’s just-announced Luna is a lot like stadia.

Amazon has a simple way to get around Apple’s app store rules entirely. It’s making me wonder how long it’ll be before Google, NVIDIA, Microsoft and others follow suit.

Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the app store. Engadget says it’s a progressive web app it can even appear as an icon on your home screen.

Being a web app makes it exempt from Apple’s app store rules. Apple mentioned this idea in its updated rules two weeks ago.

4.9 streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines. For example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search. There is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the app store.

Google, NVIDIA, Microsoft and others have waited this long. It’s surprising that Google and NVIDIA have waited so long.

In December 2010, I wrote about streaming Mass Effect 2 in the web browser on an original Atom-powered netbook. Using the service that would later morph into Sony’s PlayStation now, we’ve known for a decade that you can play a top-shelf game in a web browser.

Stadia launched with support for Chromebooks and the Chrome web browser, too. Also launched with an app on Android, and an app that ca n’t play games on iOS.

Nvidia’s GeForce has created a WebRTC version of its app. It could open the door to a web browser version on top of its apps for Mac, Windows and Android.

Google, NVIDIA, and Microsoft could optimize performance if they had a native app instead of relying on web standards. In the case of iOS, relying on the WebKit browser engine Apple requires all iOS browsers to be based on.

Run it does well enough that Amazon is willing to hang part of the success of its new Luna platform on iOS web browsers.

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