Yay! Steam finally came out with their Steam mobile app for iOS and Android about a week ago. Although it has been labeled as a beta, it is fairly neat to use.
If you do not know what Steam is, Steam is a computer game service that allows you to purchase game licenses from many different publishers. It is essentially a digital locker for your computer games. You do not get any software on physical media like CD or DVD. You install the game on your computer by having it downloaded. One of the advantages of this method is that you can install the game on as many machines as you want, but they are only playable when you log in with your account.
The Steam Mobile app is basically nothing more than a chat client with your friends that you play with on Steam games and a store to let you search and buy game software that will be installed on your computer. When it first came out, it was by invite only to the beta, of which didn’t seem that hard. I got my invite in a few hours later after signing in on the app. Now the beta is open to all registered accounts.
As I said, this app for both iOS and Android is a beta, but that is mainly the service, not the app itself. The app has a look and feel of being in the desktop version of Steam, only smaller.
It is split into 3 main categories: Community, Store, and News Feeds.
The Community section is where you will find your Steam friends, groups, and friend activity on Steam. You do have the ability to chat with them if they are online. You can view their profile on who their friends are, what games they have been playing lately, and their wishlist.
The Store section is where you can search the catalog, make your wishlist, and be able to purchase games that will then be put onto your desktop or laptop.
I think it would be cool to be able to buy the games and play them directly on the phone. But since many of these games are recent, the hardware of iOS and Android just are not powerful enough yet to handle that ability. It’s a neat idea, but it will be a while before the hardware can handle that much power.
The News Feeds are just like the advertisements of games on sale like on the desktop/laptop version of Steam. The Steam News part gives information like what games are on sale, client updates, product releases and updates, the Steam Blog, and press releases.
There is also a syndicated section that has links to articles from gaming sites like PC Gamer, Shacknews, Kotaku, and more.
There are two other sections like Settings and Exit Application, but those are fairly self-explanatory on what they do, so I won’t go into much detail on those.
The app is really nice for being in the beta phase. The nice thing is that anyone with a registered Steam account can try out this app on iOS and Android.
I guess I’m just thinking too far ahead into the future when mobile devices will be able to play these games, but at least you have access to the store and the sales that are currently going on.
Have fun and geek out!