Apple hinted at the possibility of live screen broadcasting from the iPhone and iPad in July with the appearance of a non-functioning “start broadcast” button in the iOS 11 beta. There were reports that it was a mistake, and not an indication of Apple’s actual plans, but no definitive word from the company.
The leader of Microsoft’s live game-streaming platform, Mixer, hopes Apple will enable the feature so that the Mixer app for iOS can take advantage of it.
Mixer leader Matt Salsamendi addressed the topic during a wide-ranging conversation about game streaming Tuesday at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle. Salsamendi co-founded and led the startup Beam Interactive as a teenager before selling it to Microsoft, which has since renamed the service Mixer and integrated it with the Xbox One and Windows 10.
Here’s what he said on the topic:
As it relates to mobile game streaming, it’s super simple on Android — you can broadcast pretty much any game, you can screencap, you can broadcast the whole experience from your phone. On iOS, it’s a little more difficult because the games have to integrate with ReplayKit. We’re seeing more and more games adopt that but it’s honestly a little bit slower than we’d like.
One of the cool things that Apple is working on, or at least has teased, is broadcasting built into iOS 11, so you can actually screencap the entire experience on iOS 11 and that’s something that we’re excited about — getting broadcasters more tools to do that.
If Microsoft’s Mixer team has inside knowledge of Apple’s plans — as a major third-party app developer with a deep interest in the feature very well could — Salsamendi didn’t say so explicitly during his public talk.
Apple has a feature hiding in iOS 11 that may let you broadcast your screen to the world https://t.co/u1rjERZ59r
— Todd Haselton (@robotodd) July 12, 2017
Apple is enabling screen recording in iOS 11, but live screen broadcasting would be another step beyond that. If enabled, the feature could allow people to live-stream not just games but also other screens on the device.
Apple plans to release iOS 11 officially in the fall.
Microsoft Mixer competes against services such as Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube Gaming. Apart from Windows and Xbox integration, points of differentiation for the Microsoft service include low-latency streaming and ways for viewers to interact with games as they’re being streamed.