Microsoft has promised that Xbox One Cloud Gaming is coming to mobile at some point. But maybe you want to play Xbox on your iPhone right now. Onecast has you covered! It’s a simple App that promises to stream your Xbox Games to iOS. Does it really work? Let’s find out!
Quality Game Streaming for iOS
Let’s be clear. iOS is not known as a platform that gets a lot of attention from Game Streaming companies. Many have promised to bring their technology to iOS, but few actually deliver. That’s why it’s so exciting when someone actually makes it happen.
Not only is Onecast bringing Xbox One streaming to iOS, they are only bringing it to Apple devices. That’s right, Onecast has no support for Android. It could always happen in the future, but for the moment Onecast appears to be dedicated to Apple.
With that said, you’re probably wondering how it works.
Getting started with Onecast is easy. It’s available for $11.99 in the iOS App Store. When you open it for the first time, Onecast will guide you through pairing their App with your Xbox. Connecting the two together is as easy as signing into your Microsoft Account.
Onecast only officially supports streaming over your Local Network. 5 Ghz Wifi is recommended.
After you’ve paired your Xbox, you can either start playing or adjust your settings. Onecast provides you with a range of quality settings that you can try. They also include a built-in network tester that will tell you if your network can handle your selected quality.
Onecast wants you to be able to play your way. You can use your official Xbox One Controller as long as you stay within range of your console. If you’d like to be more mobile, you can either connect a MFi controller or use on-screen touch controls.
So that all probably looks good. But how does it actually perform? We spent the weekend testing a variety of games through Onecast. Overall the experience was very decent. However, Onecast is very demanding on your network.
Things tended to be very smooth if we were within about 20 feet of our Wifi Router. Moving any further away caused stuttering and pixelation. I’ll clarify right away that this has a lot to do with your router. Some models use internal antennas (like ours), and some have external. Those with external antennas may get a little more range than what we experienced. But overall we found Onecast to be a bit more demanding than other streaming services that we’ve tested.
When we were close to our router Onecast performed quite well. The picture quality and input latency were both excellent. It’s probably no surprise that Onecast performs best when using a controller. And it’s going to be at it’s absolute best when you’re playing with your actual Xbox Controller. It is possible to use a MFi controller, but doing so tends to add a little bit of extra input latency.
Touch Screen controls should be reserved for very slow games. Anything with fast movement will end up being frustrating without a physical controller.
The bottom line with Onecast is that it’s very promising. It works well if you use your actual Xbox Controller and play close to your router. I’m not sure if Onecast has enough control over the streaming experience to improve things further. They are basically tapping into Microsoft’s streaming protocols that are intended for streaming your Xbox to a Windows 10 PC. With that in mind, they may not be able to tweak things enough to dramatically improve streaming in the future.
It would also be nice to see them support additional platforms. As of today, they haven’t made any announcement about doing so. Onecast has the potential to come to Android, but there doesn’t appear to be a plan to support it anytime soon.
If you’d like to see Onecast in action, take a look at the video below.
Also published on Medium.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.