Steam for iOS, Android Devices Won’t Play Games, but Lets You Chat

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Fingers crossed Steam operator Valve might have found a way to plonk stuff like Skyrim, Rage or Sins of a Solar Empire onto your mobile phone? Alas, the new freebie Steam client for smartphones won’t do anything like that. What it will do, however, is let you buy Steam games from your phone and chat with pals on the go.

Valve just announced its Steam app for iOS and Android devices last week and rolled it out in closed beta, but things went well enough, apparently, that it’s now available in finished form internationally.

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In addition to buying games and chatting with your Steam friends, the 1.7MB app lets you browse community groups (though you can’t interact yet), view Steam news and syndicated news affiliates, check the service’s games catalog, your wish list, your cart or search for something. Valve’s also touting it as a way to “stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales” (because of course they are!).

User reactions on Apple’s App Store — of 500 weighing in so far — are generally upbeat, though several say the app needs an official iPad version (“For me, the screen items seem so compact at the moment,” complains one user), that they occasionally receive error messages (“this service not available yet”) and that the app sometimes lags.

Other things users are clamoring for: compatibility with older devices, the option to keep mobile chats separate from the computer version (it currently mirrors chats between your phone and computer, Skype-style), game achievement integration, the ability to search by platform and of course actual iOS or Android games for purchase — at the moment, Steam only offers PC and Mac platform games.

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