Microsoft reportedly bringing Project xCloud to iOS via internet browsers in 2021

Project xCloud, as shown at the Xbox E3 Showcase in the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images)

Several sources reported this week that Microsoft is working on a browser-based edition of its cloud gaming service Project xCloud. Business Insider reported that Xbox chief Phil Spencer told Microsoft employees at a meeting Wednesday that the company will pursue a “direct browser-based solution” for bringing the Xbox Game Pass to Apple’s family of devices.

If this were to work similarly to features on other services such as Google Stadia, it would allow Game Pass subscribers to connect to xCloud’s servers on an Apple device via its web browser, rather than launching any kind of discreet individual app. It would work identically to how one logs into any other streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu, in a browser window.

This news comes almost a month after Apple launched a new set of rules for its App Store in September. It would have allowed Microsoft to officially bring an xCloud app to iOS, but only if each game on the service was submitted to Apple as a separate playable app. As there are dozens of games on the Game Pass at any given time and they rotate in and out of the service monthly, this was essentially a case of Apple setting up a logistically-infeasible series of hoops for Microsoft to jump through. Naturally, Microsoft opted to decline.

According to Apple, this was done to make sure that Microsoft’s library of games on the Pass all individually meet Apple’s stringent guidelines for the App Store. According to everyone else, it’s another case this year of Apple using its policies as a weapon against competitors. If xCloud (and Stadia) was available

Microsoft Reportedly Bringing Xbox Game Pass To iOS As Browser App

Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer told employees that the company is planning to bring Xbox Game Pass streaming to Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices using a “direct browser-based solution,” according to a Business Insider report.

“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” Spencer reportedly told employees this week. According to The Verge, Spencer also mentioned bringing this browser solution to Windows 10 PCs next year.

Microsoft’s game-streaming portion of Xbox Game Pass has so far only been available on Android as Apple at first blocked it and similar services such as Google Stadia, but then agreed to allow those apps onto its iOS devices provided that there were separate apps for each game. Apple also required that each game be submitted individually so that it would comply with the company’s 30% profit-splitting policy.

Microsoft declined to participate, calling the solution a “bad experience for customers” as it wanted all of its games to be available within one app for ease of use.

Specific details on Microsoft’s browser-streaming solution have not been detailed yet, but the company did reveal that it planned to bring streaming to Game Pass on its Xbox consoles as well.

Microsoft isn’t the only company pursuing web-based gaming, as Amazon’s Luna game streaming service will also launch on iOS in the near future. On iOS, Luna will also use a browser app to stream its selection of games on Apple hardware.

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Microsoft is bringing xCloud to iOS via the web

Microsoft is working on a “direct browser-based solution” to bring xCloud to iOS early next year. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company has been developing a web version of xCloud to run on iOS and iPadOS devices, alongside continuing its work on an app that it hopes will also eventually run on Apple’s platform.





Microsoft’s gaming chief, Phil Spencer, revealed the company’s browser-based xCloud work during a recent internal all-hands meeting. “We absolutely will end up on iOS,” said Spencer during the meeting, noting that he “feels good” about the company’s iOS progress. “We’ll end up on iPhones, and iPads with Game Pass.” Business Insider first reported the news of the web version for iOS.

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Apple has been blocking services like xCloud and Stadia from running on iOS devices via its App Store, and recently offered an olive branch to these services with some big restrictions. Apple insists that developers must individually submit their games as separate apps using their streaming tech. Microsoft and Google are free to create a “catalog”-style app that collects and links out to all of these individual apps.

Microsoft wasn’t impressed with Apple’s approach, and xCloud’s potential launch on iPhones and iPads has been left in limbo as a result. We understand Microsoft is targeting an early 2021 release for a web-based version of xCloud for Apple’s devices. This browser version would bypass the App Store, just like Amazon is doing with its new Luna game streaming service.

During the same all-hands call at Microsoft, Spencer also discussed the company’s plans for xCloud on PC. Spencer described PC as a “great opportunity” for both Game Pass and game streaming. Microsoft is now aiming to bring xCloud to Windows 10 PCs in 2021. The software giant has been testing

Lightstep Announces New GitHub Action, Bringing Observability Data Directly to GitHub to Avoid Problematic Code Deploys

cdCON — Lightstep, the cutting-edge distributed tracing tool founded by former Google engineers, today announced their new GitHub Action called the Lightstep Pre-Deploy Check. By automatically bringing relevant Observability data directly into the development workflow on GitHub, software developers can ensure the quality and performance of their software, before it’s actually deployed.

“This is a big shift left for how developers think about Observability,” said Daniel Spoonhower, Co-Founder and CTO of Lightstep. “DevOps is about acknowledging that it’s not good enough to ship code without worrying about how it performs in the real world. I very much believe in ‘you build it you own it’ — but I also believe that we need to make this easier by baking solutions into existing development workflows as much as possible, by automating as much as possible.”

According to the State of Software Quality 2020 report produced by OverOps, two out of three developers spend at least a day per week troubleshooting issues in their code, and are frustrated by the unknowns that come with deploying new code into cloud-based, distributed architectures. Despite the 87M+ merged pull requests per GitHub’s annual Octoverse report, to date there has been zero visibility into the health status of a system within a pull request.

“Automatically confirming production systems and services are healthy before deploying code that can impact them is a great step towards ensuring reliability, without compromising developer velocity,” said Chris Patterson, Product Manager for GitHub Actions at GitHub. “By bringing Observability data directly into the pull request process on GitHub, developers can avoid context switching, gain more ownership of how their code performs in production, and better support DevOps within their organization.”

The Lightstep Pre-Deploy Check leverages publicly-available APIs from Lightstep to provide a deployment risk summary ahead of a code

Instagram is bringing its Shopping feature to IGTV and Reels

  • Instagram is bringing its Shopping feature to IGTV and Reels.
  • The move is part of Facebook’s push to make social commerce a more central part of its apps.
  • Insider Intelligence analyzes this industry and several others to provide in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. Learn more about what we offer.

Yesterday, Instagram rolled out Instagram Shopping for its long-form video platform IGTV, part of the company’s push to make social commerce more central to the app. Users will be able to add products featured in an IGTV video to their in-app shopping cart and then check out either on the company’s website or within Instagram.

have US social media buyers made a purchase via select media platforms

Instagram is bringing its Shopping feature to IGTV and Reels.

eMarketer


With this rollout, Shopping is now available on almost all parts of the platform, including the main feed, Stories, and livestreams. The company plans to make Shopping available across the platform’s various offerings by year-end, announcing that it would begin testing the feature for Reels “later this year,” per a company statement. 

The move is part of parent company Facebook’s shopping push, as well as a broader industrywide push toward video-based social commerce. This year alone, Facebook has rolled out several shopping features across the two apps: Launching native storefronts Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops in May; expanding Live Shopping for both platforms; and adding a centralized product discovery platform for Facebook in August.

The quick succession of these rollouts is likely due in part to lockdowns, as the company attempted to capture small businesses that were forced to digitize. But it’s also part of a wider trend toward social commerce that began before the pandemic, as US companies took notes from the Chinese retail market. We estimate that China’s retail social commerce industry is set to surpass $240 billion this