Popular PC digital distribution service Steam has launched their official mobile app for iOS and Android. What this app offers is not necessarily the ability to play Steam games, but instead access to many features of the Steam frontend. The store can be browsed from the mobile app, games can be added to the wishlist, and games can even be added to the Steam cart; it is not immediately apparent if games can actually be purchased from the app yet, which may not be the case because of Apple restrictions, in particular. However, considering that Steam regularly offers sales, this could allow for those who want to partake in these sales but aren’t necessarily at their computer to get a head start before they get back to their computer.
The app also offers access to Steam’s social features; users can chat with their friends on Steam, and receive notifications of new messages. They also have access to the latest news on Steam games, just as in the desktop version of the app. Notifications could also hypothetically be used to alert of new sales on the store.
The only problem with the Steam app at this point is that access into it is very limited; it is in a closed beta, and Steam is only handing out codes to get in on an occasional basis. This means at the moment, the app is of very limited utility, but for those interested, signing in to the app does “show interest” to Valve for getting into the app, the necessary step toward getting that beta access code. Limited access to the interface does seem to show that Steam may be using a similar HTML5 wrapper around their iOS and Android apps, particularly with a similar slide-out menu to the Facebook app on both platforms. This may make it easier for them to update the app as necessary. Steam Mobile is available now for free.