Published on January 30th, 2012 | by Brandon10
Hands-on with the New Steam Mobile App
In the quest to show everyone why Steam is still the best digital distribution game in town, Valve recently released an iOS/Android app to bring Steam to mobile devices. The new app allows you to carry around in your pocket many of the features we know and love from the Steam desktop client. Let’s dive in and take a look at it, shall we?
Upon opening the app, you can tap the button at the top-left to expand a navigation pane with some options that should look very familiar. The Community, Store, and News Feeds categories are nearly identical to the Steam desktop client; the only category missing is (obviously) the game library.
The shopping interface has a straightforward layout, complete with the carousel gallery of featured titles at the top. You can browse categories to see new and popular games, check out Steam sales, and search individual titles. Now you’ll really have no excuse for missing out on those crazy limited time deals!
You can also view your friends list to see what they’re playing, and touching a friend’s name leads you to their detail page (pictured above). Very similar to the desktop experience, you can view a friend’s profile information, recently played games, friends/groups in common, wishlist, and more. One of the best features is that you can now chat with your Steam friends on the go!
You can download the Steam mobile app right now from the iOS App Store or the Android Market. However, the app is still in limited beta for now, so you can’t access it immediately without an invite. If you’d like to get into the limited beta, just download the app to your mobile device and attempt to sign in; Valve will flag your account to show that you’re interested, and you may receive a beta invite shortly thereafter. (For what it’s worth, I got an invite within 24 hours.)
So there you have it: a quick look at the new Steam mobile app. Given that the app is still in beta, I’m very impressed with the functionality Valve has built in so far. Aside from not being able to see or access anything regarding my game library, I didn’t notice any glaring defects or missing features. The ability to chat with friends while away from one’s gaming PC should come as a boon to social gamers who like to stay connected at all times, and everyone will appreciate the ability to check Steam sales wherever they are.
I can’t help but think that this new venture puts Steam that much further ahead of the rest of the competition. Your move, Origin?