(Pocket-lint) - Things sure seem to be gathering steam - Facebook has followed Microsoft's lead and become the latest big tech presence to speak out against Apple regarding its draconian App Store enforcement.
Facebook has just launched Facebook Gaming, its streaming hub, on both Android and iOS, but on the latter platform has been forced to totally remove a small mini-games section that let players blow off steam.
Apple's view on the section was that it could allow Facebook to put games on the app that Apple wouldn't be able to review, and furthermore that the app's main purpose was in fact these games.
Facebook seems to have exhausted all possible appeal processes, and despite its protestation that 95% of the app's activity comprises people watching streams, not playing the games, Apple's been unmoved.
That's prompted some strong statements from the very top of Facebook's chain, made to The Verge. Sheryl Sandberg, its well-known COO, said: "Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app — meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android."
Alluding to Microsoft's issues getting xCloud off the ground on iOS, the head of Facebook Gaming, Vivek Sharma followed up: "Even on the main Facebook app and Messenger, we’ve been forced to bury Instant Games for years on iOS. This is shared pain across the games industry, which ultimately hurts players and devs and severely hamstrings innovation on mobile for other types of formats, like cloud gaming."
Those are fairly strong words in a field that's normally painfully observant of politeness about competitors. It certainly seems as though Apple's policies are under more scrutiny than ever, though, and its contradictions do seem odd from the outside.
In particular, the fact that streaming services like Netflix and more so YouTube can let users access limitless material that Apple can't review, through an App Store app, seems confusing when compared to its stance on gaming.
In fact, Apple itself has also just confirmed that Google Stadia can't and won't work in iOS at the moment, for the same reason - adding Google to the gang of giant tech companies likely to be displeased right now.
It remains to be seen how Apple will respond in terms of actual action, and whether the compromise that you would assume would best suit all parties can be reached.