Here's how Microsoft got Xbox Cloud Gaming to work with iPhone and iPad

Xcloud Ipad
Xcloud Ipad (Image credit: Dan Thorp-Lancaster/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft partnered with Rainway to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to web browsers.
  • Rainway specializes in streaming game experience to browsers.
  • Microsoft began testing Xbox Cloud Gaming through browsers on iOS and iPadOS today.

Microsoft recently announced that it will start publicly testing Xbox Cloud Gaming on Windows 10, iOS, and iPadOS. While Xbox Cloud Gaming has a native app on Android, Microsoft had to go a different way for Apple hardware. Due to Apple's App Store rules, Microsoft decided to skip the App Store and bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to web browsers.

The move allows Microsoft to deliver the Xbox Cloud Gaming experience to iOS and iPadOS without having to submit each game on the service to Apple for approval. To get Xbox Cloud Gaming to work through browsers, Microsoft worked with Rainway.

Some will recognize the Rainway name for its app that, ironically, was removed from the Xbox One on Microsoft's request. Rainway specializes in streaming content to browsers, and Microsoft used Rainway's SDK to enhance and streamline Xbox Cloud Gaming technology.

"Our goal at Xbox is to enable gamers around the world to play the games they want, on the devices they want, with the people they want," said Kevin LaChapelle, vice president, Xbox Cloud Gaming Platform. "To provide a consistent cloud gaming experience that spans multiple devices, we're making games available through browser which provides the necessary performance, compatibility and speed that meets the needs of gamers."

Microsoft is one of Rainway's first app services partners. Rainway only announced that it would offer its SDK to partners last month, so getting Microsoft as a client this early is a major accomplishment.

Xbox Cloud Gaming launched in a limited beta today. At this point, it's invite-only, so if you haven't received an invite, you'll have to wait to try it out. Microsoft is inviting Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to try out the service, so if you're a subscriber, you should check out your inbox from the email address attached to your Microsoft Account.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at