A Tour of Steam Mobile Beta
Today Steam released “Steam Mobile”, an app for iOS and Android devices. It’s currently a closed beta, with invites slowly rolling out across the Steam user base. Lucky for you guys I got in so I can give you a glimpse of what’s in store.
Steam Mobiles main focus seems to be on the chat, when opening up the app on the friends list so you can get dug in right away to chat to your steam buddies. Unlike signing into two PCs with your Steam account you can be signed into both Steam Mobile and Steam on your PC at the same time. Chatting is just like most other IM apps on your phone, you on one side, your friend on the other. One current feature missing is the ability to join group chats, this may come in future but I’ve a feeling with the speed some can go at Valve may have decided it just wouldn’t work at all well on a mobile device. You can also check out friends profiles, viewing much the same information as on the PC client. However at the moment screenshots are a “work in progress”.
As far as the store front goes it all works functionally, though I’ll be curious how they deal with things like the summer and winter sales where the main storefront tends to get a major revamp. The “buying as a gift” and “buying for yourself” buttons could do with being resized though. And a great future feature would be the ability to have your new purchases be automatically downloaded on the PC client. Just like the profile pages, a scroll down the games store page gets you all the same information as the main website.
As far as options go there’s a rather standard selection, such as setting it to beep and vibrate when you get new chat messages, or to disable that feature altogether. There’s an option for “Steam Preferences” but that’s not yet built-in. This app is certainly beta in a few areas. However it’s rather competent all around, and I love it just for the chat ability, something I’ve wanted for some time. My main huge issue with the app in its current state is that signing in requires inputting a Steam Guard PIN each time, which makes it a bit of a pain as I don’t really use email on my phone, but if this isn’t resolved ASAP I may have to look into tieing Steam with my Gmail account. Another minor issue is with then signing out, currently you have to go into the Settings and sign out from there. A button on the menu would be a bit more useful.
All in all it’s a good start, and with a trip away this weekend a rather timely release to really give the app a spin.
Click the images to get a better look.
Update: Just to reinforce; this is only for buying Windows/Mac games. You cannot (at the current moment in time) buy iOS or Android games through this app. However this could very well be a sign of some motion on Valves part towards that. Who knows, maybe some World of Goo Steamplay with Android included?