Parsec iOS For iPhone is a popular cloud gaming service that allows users to stream games from a host computer to other devices. With Parsec, you can play high performance games on low-powered devices like phones or tablets by having the game rendered on a remote gaming PC and then streamed over the internet.
While Parsec is available for download on Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and even Raspberry Pi, there currently is no official iOS client. The lack of an iOS app is disappointing for iPhone users who wish to enjoy cloud gaming on the go.
In this article, we’ll explain why there is no Parsec for iOS, discuss workarounds, and provide tips for the best cloud gaming experience on iPhone.
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Why No Parsec on iOS
There are a couple reasons why Parsec is not officially supported on iOS devices:
App Store Restrictions
Apple has tight control over apps published on their App Store. All apps must use specific iOS APIs and comply with App Store guidelines. Cloud gaming services like Parsec have difficulty meeting some of these requirements. For example, Apple restricts apps from executing code downloaded outside the App Store. This makes it challenging for game streaming, which relies on executing code on a remote host computer.
Parsec utilizes low-level graphics APIs like OpenGL and Vulkan for high performance game streaming. These are not accessible to third-party apps on iOS due to sandboxing. Apple also restricts apps from accessing hardware acceleration features needed for efficient video encoding and decoding.
Developing apps for iOS requires adherence to Apple’s processes and guidelines. Parsec likely does not want to invest significant resources when technical and policy limitations prevent feature parity with the desktop and Android clients.
Lack of Demand
Most of Parsec’s user base currently consists of PC gamers. There may not be enough demand from iOS users to justify prioritizing development of an iOS client.
So unfortunately for iPhone owners, unless Apple relaxes some restrictions, Parsec itself does not seem to be coming to iOS any time soon. But don’t fret, there are still some workarounds…
Workarounds for Using Parsec on iOS
While you can’t directly download and install Parsec on an iPhone, there are a couple possible workarounds:
Use the Web Client
Parsec offers a web-based client that runs in a browser. To use it on iPhone:
- Open the Safari browser on your iOS device
- Go to parsecgaming.com
- Log in to your Parsec account
- You can now stream games to Safari on your iPhone
The web client provides the core Parsec streaming capabilities. However, performance and latency may not be ideal when running in a mobile browser. The lack of dedicated client optimizations can result in higher battery drain as well. Still, the web client is the most straightforward way to stream Parsec games on an iPhone.
Install Parsec through a VM
A more involved workaround is to install Parsec in a Windows virtual machine on your iPhone. Here are the steps:
- Download and install a VM app like iSH or UTM on your iPhone
- Set up a Windows 10 VM instance
- Download and install Parsec inside your Windows VM
- Launch and log in to Parsec from the VM
- Stream games from your host PC to the VM on your iPhone
Running Parsec through a VM brings you closer to the native desktop experience. You also gain access to features not available in the web client. Performance should be better compared to the web client too. Just keep in mind that running graphically intensive games can still be quite demanding.
Tips for Optimal Performance
Here are some tips to help optimize your cloud gaming experience when using Parsec on an iPhone:
- For web client, use Safari for best performance over other iOS browsers
- Disable unnecessary visual effects in the VM for lower overhead
- Reduce Parsec streaming resolution and quality settings if needed
- Connect iPhone and host PC to 5Ghz WiFi for faster speeds
- Limit other network activity during gameplay sessions
- Use a controller paired with your iPhone instead of touch controls
- Close other apps on your iPhone to prioritize resources for Parsec
- Set Parsec to exit on disconnect to avoid battery drain if connection drops
- Adjust in-game graphics options for ideal balance of quality and frame rate
The Future of Cloud Gaming on iOS
While Parsec is not natively available for iOS devices today, there are signs this could change in the future:
- Parsec is building an SDK that would allow game developers to integrate Parsec streaming into iOS apps. This could lead to iOS games with built-in Parsec support.
- Apple is relaxing some restrictions, like allowing cloud streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming. Increased competition may lead them to open up further.
- Technologies like video codec AV1 and UDP data transfer could enable high performance game streaming that satisfies App Store policies.
So for iPhone users eager to use Parsec, there is hope on the horizon even if current options are limited. Pay attention to Parsec SDK announcements and Apple policy changes for any signs of Parsec expanding iOS support.
Parsec provides an exceptional cloud gaming experience – but unfortunately iOS limitations prevent it from being available on iPhone officially. While the web client and Windows VM workarounds do function, performance and quality fall short of the native apps. Still, these options can allow iOS users to access their impressive Parsec gaming PC library on the go. And looking ahead, Parsec may yet find its way onto the App Store as Apple continues opening up to cutting edge technologies like cloud gaming.
Table Summary of Workarounds
|Parsec Web Client
|– Simple and easy to use
|– Limited features compared to desktop app
|– Works directly in mobile browser
|– Performance impacted by Safari limitations
|– Requires only a Parsec account
|– Higher battery drain than native app
|Parsec via Windows VM
|– Provides full native Parsec experience
|– Requires setting up a Windows VM on your device
|– Improved performance over web client
|– Can be resource intensive for your phone
|– Access to all Parsec features
|– Still not as smooth as a native iOS app