Looking back at E3 last year we got a first look at the OnLive client for the iPad. It was an impressive demo, and a few months later OnLive was going full steam ahead with the launch of the app. They even went as far as to send me the actual Bluetooth controller and a build to play on my iPad, and I'd say it worked even better than the E3 demo, as my home WiFi was substantially more reliable.

What happened next was a little confusing, OnLive basically went dark on promoting the OnLive app. We weren't able to get any substantial updates on the project, and it seemed like everything was in a massive holding pattern. Well, running into the OnLive guys again at E3 this year shed some light on the matter. It turns out they're still hard at work on getting the app approved, and don't show any signs of giving up on the project.

It's not much of a surprise that Apple might have issues with the OnLive app, as it's offering a complete platform that Apple doesn't have control over, promotes a gamepad, and provides content purchased outside of the App Store ecosystem. So, here's to keeping our fingers crossed to OnLive and Apple coming to some sort of middle ground to get the app out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iammane Matthew Nemeth

    This is one of the main reasons I finally splurged on an iPad. It's killing me that we don't have this yet, and to top it off, there is one thing I DON'T understand - Netflix is available on the App Store, and Apple doesn't control any of that content. How is this ANY different??..... anyway, glad to see there is still a pulse on this

    • Adams Immersive

      The only thing I can think, is that Netflix was willing to work within the rules (which have pro-consumer benefits even if developers don’t always like them), and maybe OnLive hasn’t, so far? Or maybe OnLive has just needed time to get purely browser-based payments working the way they want?

      Or, the delay is entirely unrelated to payment methods. Who knows.

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to a resolution!

      • Schnapple

        Maybe it's related to how OnLive charges for games (per title) versus how Netflix charges for streaming (flat fee).

        Then again that's not much different from how Amazon handles Kindle books (per title) but the hiccup there was not being able to buy books within the Kindle app (you have to go to Amazon.com in a browser)

    • lucascott

      That last bit is nothing more than Eli's own conjecture. We have no idea why it hasn't been approved. But there are dozens of reasons other than fear of a little competition. 

      For all we know Apple did send them a reply and it went into someone's spam folder and they deleted it. 

      Nah, impossible. Apple hates OnLive and is never going to outright reject the app because then their fear will be exposed. of course that's it. 

      • Schnapple

        You seriously think that the rejection email is just sitting in someone's spam folder?

        Here's a tip: as an Apple iOS developer you're given access to a portal that also contains the information - it's where you go to submit the apps and it's where you can view stats, etc. 

        It is much more likely that it conflicts with something at Apple, probably something they'll never budge on. An app that lets you play lots of games for which Apple sees no money? Pass. 

      • HisDivineOrder

        But isn't the Netflix app an app that "that lets you play lots of movies for which Apple sees no money?" Where's the pass on that? Or Hulu Plus. Or most any app from anyone producing content?

        Just seems strange OnLive gets singled out...

      • Schnapple

        The key objection Apple has to these apps, and it's going to seem like a minor point but it's true, is that if you're going to pay for content within the app you have to go through Apple. Consequently Netflix's app is just a viewer - you can't subscribe to Netflix through it. Amazon's Kindle app is just a viewer - you can't purchase books from it. Apple famously booted Dropbox's app for a while because they even had a LINK to their main website where you could buy more storage space. 

        It could be that OnLive's service is intrinsically designed to be able to buy games through the service. I've never bought a game through it but it fits with the concept of their service that you could use the streaming video interface to purchase more games. In order to comply to Apple's requirements they would have to modify the interface to detect an iPad and disable the purchasing ability when the client is an iPad. It could be that it's taking a while to implement this, or they're butting heads with Apple to try and change their minds, etc. 

        But yes like many have said here it could be some different reason entirely, and due to the NDA's you sign to publish apps it's unlikely that they can ever tell us. But I think the bottom line is that OnLive's "make the type of device irrelevant" business model just doesn't work well in the real world since they're reliant on publishers and device makers, which might have financial incentive to make that difficult or impossible. Like how they can't let you play Mass Effect on a Macintosh because Microsoft wants it to be exclusive to Windows. Oops. 

    • Schnapple

      You bought an iPad for an app which doesn't exist yet? Wow.

      • http://www.facebook.com/iammane Matthew Nemeth

        Yeah, it was one of the reasons lol... I won't lie

    • Dpen00

      The difference is that Netflix doesn't sell you extra content through their app. The content is all inclusive with your paid subscription. On the other hand Onlive does offer content for purchase through their service and my guess is that is where the conflict with Apple's payment system comes in. Apple wants their share of the profit from items being sold through an IOS app. If Onlive can find a way to work around or with this to finally get their app on IOS devices, I'll be a happy man.

      • Adam Gibson

        I doubt they are having problems getting approved because of technical features Apple doesn't approve of.  They have not stated they are offering in app purchases or not.  Onlive certainly know that is not allowed by Apple so they presumably do not offer any in app purchases of content and rely on people knowing to go to the website to purchase content.  I really think the holdup is Apple sees them as competition and concerned that onlive can deliver better gaming than native apps.  Certainly Apple would be concerned about that.  With netflix the quality of videos are less than native because of compression.  With onlive content though gaming is less quality as far as slightly blurry but onlive can provide a much more complex 3D environment with the rendering being done on their servers.  So in that respect onlive can provide much better games than native apps can provide.  I really feel that is the main issue onlive is having getting it approved.

      • http://twitter.com/ghen73 Jenn

        The types of games OnLive offers, in my opinion, will make this a relatively niche product. While many people here consider it a must have service, there's a large number of iPad users that will never have heard of it, so how much competition could it be really (all due repect)? Yes, in depth titles exist as stand alone apps, but rarely do you see them in the top grossing lists, and when you do you can almost bet there's been a sale. I agree they'd be asking for trouble by offering in app purchases, just because of Apple's choke hold on the App store, but who knows if that's the issue. I just hope impatience doesn't diminish interest making this all but disappear.

      • PlasticWig

        Amazon doesn't sell books through their Kindle app but they can still let you access content you purchased. The client doesn't have to be identical to what is on the PC/Mac either. They have a plain viewer app, but we don't know what the one they are trying to get approved does or does not include. If it were just access to already purchased games, or even just access to playpack subscribers I would be happy with it. 
        A few of the titles exist on iOS already, so that might be where the issue is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/iammane Matthew Nemeth

        I agree, and that's fine. I'm not asking to purchase my games through the iPad app. I'm more than happy to use a PC or Mac, whatever, to purchase my games and then just use the client on the iPad. I don't see how this isn't the SAME EXACT THING as the Netflix app.... Also, OnLive has the playpass, for 9.99 a month you get a slew of games to play. For 8.99 a month or whatever you get all the movies and junk on Netflix. This is the same exact thing lol... Apple is sandbagging us simple as that.

    • mdemy8

      Matt I also FINALLY got an iPad just because of the Onlive app. So alas no app yet and I'm still not play Onlive games on my iPad. I have in the mean time found some great IOs games to hold me over,hopefully this app will drop sometime this year.

      • http://www.facebook.com/iammane Matthew Nemeth

        No doubt 🙂 I'm occupied for sure but as soon as we can use OnLive I'm not gonna need a pc really anymore. I just want to cut the tie because it's amazing how much the iPhone and iPad can do.

    • asiangamer

      Yes that's what I had in my mind to, really want to play on my iOS device since its so good on my laptop.

  • Nathan Duval

    I want this to happen so badly.  I really hope they pull it off. 

  • yomachaser

    This has been happily up and running on android forever and moves like this from Apple make me cringe when I think about how locked down ipads are. 

    • Adams Immersive

      One of the best things about iOS is that users can trust IAP in every app to work the same, and be super-simple, and be secure. That benefits developers too.

      The “wild west” IAP methods of Android has benefits too, but you can’t say Apple’s method doesn’t have its own benefits, which Android can’t share. For most people, Apple’s simple single system has huge benefits, vs. every app under the sun having its own unique payment methods to deal with.

      Assuming this thing with OnLive relates to IAP (and it may not), it’s not a “move” by Apple against OnLive, it’s simply a rule that has been there for ages—and a rule that has some undeniable benefits.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Phoenix/100000658978850 Scott Phoenix

        You obviously know nothing about how payments in Android work. No app in the Play store has its own unique payment method, to say so is simply moronic.  If anything it doesn't have enough payment options; same is true for the Amazon app store. get your head out of the icloud for a minute and actually research something rather than make ignorant comments.

      • Adams Immersive

        Of course, but the Play store isn’t the only way to get apps.

        Amazon/Fire is more Apple-like in that regard.

      • quietstorms

        1. You can make a point without coming off as a jerk.

        2. Google Market did have multiple forms of payment from third party apps until Google changed the rules Play was introduced and forced them to use their own solution.

  • htp24

    The ability to purchase games is disabled in the Onlive viewer, so maybe it is in fact IAP. 

    It's a shame too, because it plays wonderfully well on my android device. 

  • htp24

    Oh, and as aside, I recall they demoed a touch version of Borderlands which is NOT currently available as a touch app at all, so who knows what that's about.

  • famousringo

    Didn't Apple trot these guys out onstage during a major news conference a year or two back? Seems odd that they'd get such an honour if their service has such a hard time meeting Apple's requirements.

    Pet theory: Apple's working on a nice set of APIs for bluetooth peripherals, but it wasn't ready to go for iOS 5. OnLive is holding out on releasing their service for iOS until these APIs are ready to go so they can ship their controllers at launch.

    • Schnapple


  • lepeos

    So 'shedding light' is simply restating what Onlive's people have been saying since December, that they're 'working' with Apple. Great article, really informative

  • Matthew Timpson

    Eli hodnapp could you send me the build of the app please so I can use it ?

  • Ciaran O'Brien

    Onlive can do a few things to get the app onto iOS:
    >Sell the app for 99c/69p, so Apple make money from it.
    >Make the app free, but give some of the profit made from games to Apple.
    >Put the app on Cydia for free, bypassing Apple altogether.
    Also, having the Onlive app on the Apple TV would be really great, and would boost both Onlive's profits and Apples sales of Apple TVs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/costa.apostolou Costa Apostolou

      If they at least offer support for the appletv then I would be using it as we speak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/costa.apostolou Costa Apostolou

    Stick a damn version on cydia already and fk them. This is a resason I'm not a hunge onlive user cuz its not on the iPad. Apple will never give in so just stick the app on the net like all the other companies do when they get dennied. I really thought good knees was coming, and it's crazy to keep us wondering. Apple obviously said no as it has never taken more than a year. Onlive isnt willing to budge so they stay quite trying to make apple look bad by not giving an answer but in reality apple has already denied it. Cydia damnit.

  • Dpad

    Why not just make 2 apps one to handle your account and another to play games.

  • mario serrano

    I think they may have found a resolution with the new one click browser feature. Who needs an app when you can play a game directly in a browser. The way apple sees it if you don't give them a cut of your profit, you will not get your app published.

  • Tom Carter

    Although I would love to see an OnLive app, tbh it will be crippled on an iPad until they or someone else brings out a supported gamepad or keyboard/mouse comination.

    On Android this has been supported and works really well, but playing full PC games on a touchscreen when they haven't been optimised for touchscreens? I can't see that being a great gaming experience

    Ideally I would love to see Onlive use or bring out their own version of this
    can control games on the iPad, but leaves the Docking port free for HDMI adapter connected to the TV!

  • Dion Booth

    I think cydia is the way forward. If people start jail breaking to install the onlive app. Which I would be happy to do. Apple may release it on the AppStore to avoid a mass jailbreak incident

  • https://plus.google.com/115494461848613522089/posts Eng. Jorge A. Santana

    It's a revenue issue they will have to use apple payment system to get approve and that will poss off everyone else not getting a cut. IMHO is still worth it because iOS is such a bug market plus having AirPlay will make them get to tvs without having to make contracts with each tv maker...

  • asiangamer

    Hey guys check this info I find on OnliveFans---

    Post Rating: 1 out of 1. Rate Post |
    Is the iOS app officially dead?

    I know that Onlive will never say if its totally dead, but like the promised Warhammer 40k multiplayer functions that never arrived and Onlive staying quiet, it looks like they are playing the same game with the iOS client and treating us paying customers like we don't deserve to know the truth.

    I travel alot and my wife got me an iPad and universal controller so that I can play Onlive on the road. She was surprised when I told her there wasn't an iOS app, as she said when she bought it the site had links and all kinds of information about how the iOS client and controller worked.

    We both noticed all references have been scrubbed and even the media at CES is saying stuff like "the iOS app that never happened" and "since Apple denied the gaming app, now Onlive is working on...." it looks as though it has been killed and now Onlive is moving on. Everyone in the business says it's dead, except Onlive of course it seems.

    I'm a bit upset that Onlive falsely advertised iOS to the point my wife got suckered into buying the controller and a few games (all of which I have at home on my gaming PC but it would be fun to play on the road), but I told her, Onlive is legitimate I'm sure it's coming soon or else surely Onlive will tell us something.

    But now, it looks like Onlive is sweeping this under the rug, after contacting customer service today I was told that there is no iOS app and that Onlive for tablets is an Android exclusive, that maybe down the road they will offer it but for now they have other technologies they are working on, that sounds pretty final to me.

    I seem to be the last to know as no one is even talking about the iOS app anymore so I really don't need a limited controller for my PC (I have several that work fully) and since the iOS app is dead, if anyone wants to buy the controller from me send me a PM.

    I'm not desperate for money so I'm selling it at cost + shipping.

    Unless of course someone here has the inside scoop and the customer service rep is wrong (I'm still hoping) I'm selling it all, and if there is a way to sell or gift the games she got me, let me know.

    I don't want anything to do with a company that treats it's customers with total silence when things don't work as advertised (I know they don't advertise it now but they did when she bought the stuff and that's just wrong.)

    So, I give up on Onlive and moving on. PM me if anyones interested.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFBGF5FH4TLQEHQIEETESNZXIY K

     Hi I'm late to this thread but I had a similar problem with onlive and
    wrongly assumed that their was/ would be an ipad app. I am not sure if it is helpful
    for you or not but the solution I found was to use Splashtop to just
    stream from my home computer to my ipad allowing me to access my games
    during my commute.  Anyhow, its not the same as cloud gaming BUT it gave me some access. Hope this helps.