A week after finally debuting its long-delayed Steam Link app for local gameplay streaming on iOS devices, developer Valve today announced the release of a standalone Steam Chat app for iPhone that offers many, but not all features found in its desktop counterpart.
You can browse your Steam friends list to see who’s online, engage with groups on the go, send invite links and conduct group chats, use rich media in your messages, customize alerts on a friend, group chat or chat channel basis and more.
Here are the key features of Steam Chat:
- Friends list: See who’s in game or online at a glance. You’ll see your custom categories and favorites bar just like you can on your PC.
- Rich chat: Your chats get even better with higher fidelity links, videos, tweets, GIFs, Giphy, Steam emoticons and more.
- Invite links: Add new friends on Steam with a link. Generate an invite link you can text or email.
- Customizable notifications: Mobile notifications mean you’ll never miss a message or game invite. You can customize your notifications per friend, group chat and chat channel.
- Group chats: Get everyone on the same page. Groups make it easier to do things like stay in touch with your communities and organize game night with your best friends.
According to Steam, voice chat, a major feature of the desktop app that’s missing from its mobile counterpart, will be hitting Steam Chat for iPhone in a future update.
This is a nicely done app, but its lack of native iPad interface has curbed my enthusiasm. On my iPad Pro, Steam Chat is a blown-up version of the iPhone version that looks terrible. I’m rooting for proper iPad support in a future update because I love Steam but I also love my eyesight so I avoid chatting on smartphone screens whenever possible.