i(OS)-Spy: Steam Mobile App Closed Beta

Official logo.
The Androids and the i-people will soon be able to log into a Steam app and access a bunch of Steam functionality “on the go”. Here’s what Valve had to say by way of explanation: “With the Steam app, gamers around the world may chat with Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, view screenshots and user-generated content for their favorite games, read the latest gaming news, stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales, and more.” You can download the app to “express interest in the beta” just here. Gosh, isn’t modern life convenient? You may now speculate on Valve’s plans to bring out Half-Life 3 exclusively on the iPad.


  1. Text_Fish says:

    And presumably they aim to start selling mobile games on there as well?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I’m not sure they’ll be allowed to on the iphone, pretty sure if they tried it, they’d get shut down by Apple.

    • kukouri says:

      Depends on what you mean by that. If you mean they will have an App Store type thing going on for mobile devices, I would think not. If you mean buying games through the app, then of course.

    • Text_Fish says:

      Yeah probably not in iPhone, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if somewhere down the line you could play mobile Peggle after buying it through the Steam App.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Yeah, I was specifically talking about apple not allowing them to set up a rival store for mobile games, I’m sure they’d have no issues with you buying PC games from your phone

    • Dzamir says:

      They can sell apps on the iPhone and even use Steam Achievement. They just need to sell the game from the AppStore, I don’t see where the great prohibitions is.
      It’s like selling a game on the Xbox or the PS3.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It could probably hook into Android Marketplace, which sounds like a good idea to me.

    • Windward says:

      Woohoo! Monopoly!

      (I know it isn’t technically a monopoly, but if it looks like Welsh rarebit and it tastes like Welsh rarebit, then it’s cheese on toast)

      (I know Welsh rarebit isn’t technically cheese on toast)

      Ps. How will On Live work with iOS?

    • InternetBatman says:

      I imagine they will on Android. Apple makes a lot of money from its appstore and prefer a walled garden, so I doubt they would allow it.

    • Brun says:

      Apple makes a lot of money from its appstore and prefer a walled garden

      One of the several reasons that I prefer Android over Apple. That and as a computer geek Java and Linux give me the warm and fuzzies.

    • Koozer says:

      Now I want Welsh rarebit.

  2. AmateurScience says:

    Possible future move to streaming (steaming?) game content a la OnLive?

    You heard my mad ramblings here first!

  3. Lewie Procter says:

    I don’t think they’re going to sell mobile games, but who knows.

    You can also buy games from the app, but there’s now way of queueing of a download from your mobile device.

    • Gnoupi says:

      For sure not on the iOS appstore. Such app would get pulled by Apple as fast as they see it.

      It wouldn’t be a bad idea however to have even more control from the mobile phone.
      As it is, You will be able to buy from the phone and chat, which is good already.
      However, since there is currently a beta update on the Steam desktop client to have the chats synchronize so that you see the same log on the phone and the computer, I guess it leaves an open door to more control over the Steam client, from the mobile app.

      So launching an install right after buying doesn’t seem like a technical problem, from what it appears.

    • wu wei says:

      I’d kind of like to see Steam expand into more general – but still gaming-centric – digital content, like game soundtracks and ebooks. It’d be a good adjunct to their current focus, work well on mobile platforms, and help grow some still niche markets.

    • Reynoldio says:

      I can’t see this making my Steam Sale purchase-Tourette’s even worse…

    • passingstranger says:

      Clearly the correct solution is to buy it via the Steam app, then switch to a remote desktop app to begin the download.

      Nerds, away!

  4. Squishpoke says:

    Chat was all I wanted, so cheers.

    Edit: Is there a way I can see my comment history or something?

  5. Belua says:

    And once again I feel left out for having a WP7 device… :(

    • Kaira- says:

      WP7? Imagine us Maemo/MeeGo-people. Luckily I can install Android on my phone for dual-booting, but still.

    • Belua says:

      Okay, granted. You clearly have the worse fate.

      Also, I’m posting from my phone, and due to a combination of a sluggish browser, sausage fingers and unexplainable muscle spasms, I clicked “report” instead of “reply”. I hope I cancelled in time.
      Also, those spasms aren’t really unexplainable. Stupidity on my part explains it perfectly well.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      Hold fast. Our day will come (I hope). :)

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    Finding deals and purchasing through the app is good enough for me. Apparently some people have started using Steam as their general IM client, good for them.

    If it comes to Steam selling mobile games in the future, I’m all for it. Android Market is filled with scummy clones, and occasional trojans. Amazon is better, but I definitely wouldn’t mind having another quality-controlled portal to get Android games from.

  7. catch22.ian says:

    Sadly not compatable with my 3G Iphone :-(

  8. jezcentral says:

    Fantastic, I’ve been waiting for this for a while.

    I’m sure there will be the usual emphasis on the store-front, but it would be great to have chat, profiles and screenshots (seriously, this last one will make conversations with the gamers in my office far easier).

  9. oceanclub says:

    How does this app tie in with Steamguard? Does it circumvent it or does it come with its own version of that security feature? I’d be very concerned about installing this to be honest.


    • jezcentral says:

      SteamGuard still applies.

    • ChainsawHands says:

      The same way as any other Steam login – after you enter your username and password they email a code to you, which you need to enter before you can continue (to the message that you’re not in the beta, but eventually to the app).

    • Windward says:

      Yeah, I was happy to see Steamguard was built in when I ran it for the first time

  10. Kreeth says:

    So I installed it and it says “thanks for your interest”, or words to that effect.

    What I _would_ like would be the chance to buy something while in the office and tell it to install on my machine at home so all the downloady bits would be finished by the time I get there.

    • catch22.ian says:

      Now that would be cool

    • Martel says:

      I agree, that would be cool. I suppose technically you could pull it off with a combo move using logmein or something. See an app you want via this while at work, buy it, then switch to logmein on your phone to connect to your home PC to initiate the download. Nowhere near as good as doing it natively within this app, but an option at least.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Unlikely they will let you buy things, if they did it would only be on the andriod version due to apples in app purchases stuff.

      If you really want to buy something you could always just go to the web browser anyway :p

    • Windward says:

      The app might just send you to the web browser anyway, with changes on the back end to allow remote installs. I don’t think this would be against the App Store policies?

      Maybe this would work for purchases from other PC’s too, that would be nice.

    • diamondmx says:

      In the meantime, you could install a remote desktop application on your PC, like logmein (free for the webclient), or TeamViewer (free and you can run it on an iPhone), then you can click download from work.

  11. Gnoupi says:

    Obviously the next RPS writer will also need to have great photoshop skills, on par with the current team.

    • JB says:

      What’s been photoshopped? Did you not read the alt-text? =)

    • Gnoupi says:

      Obviously the next RPS writer will need to have observation skills superior to my own.

  12. Hideous says:

    Me and Agro did a walkthrough of the iPhone/Android app on a livestream – here’s a youtube vid of it:

  13. Milky1985 says:

    OK I have a few questions that maybe someone coudl answer or maybe someone from RPS coudl ask valve.

    Why the hell does it want permission to read my phone state and call information? Do they really need my number and serial number of the phone? I can understnad most of the other permissions (mostly , see below) but why would an app to see sales and read messages need that? Only thing i can think off is steam guard but i doubt thats on this since you won’t be able to buy or play anyway ([EDIT] Just installed it does in fact us steam guard, but still not sure it really needs this whole permission to enable it if it is the case)

    Less important but still a question, why does it need storage and the ability to stop the phoen from sleeping? Is it for stored details and messages etc? Arn’t they in the cloud anyway? can’t it just handle itself in sleep mode like most other applications!

    • Rob Maguire says:

      You need to verify your phone with SteamGuard for the app to function. Those permissions just allow it to check your phone’s ID (tied to hardware) and phone number (if you change phones, someone can’t use your old one to steal accounts).

      It’s pretty standard for apps. If it uses an account, if you paid for it, if the developers want to track unique installs, heck, even if it has a high score table, it will usually request those permissions.

    • Windward says:

      The permission system on Android is mostly a red herring because people don’t understand what the permissions really mean, like Rob says above. Following the normal rules of what to trust on the internet will keep you safe. I mean, Valve already have my credit card details, if they were out to defraud me what else would they need?!

  14. int says:

    I wonder if it works on my Nokia 3310.

  15. deadly.by.design says:

    I like the part where users rate it one star for being a closed beta.

  16. Brun says:

    Looking forward to release. I missed most of the Steam Christmas sales because I was out of town and couldn’t be arsed to log into the web store to buy stuff. This should prevent that from happening again.

    (P.S. inb4 Khemm)

  17. SquareWheel says:

    Look at all those one-stars from people who do not read.

    Apple fans, not the sharpest tools.

    • PhoenixTank says:

      I’m afraid there are plenty of those on the Android Market too. It seems poor reading comprehension doesn’t discriminate. That said, it IS a slightly odd choice by valve.

  18. Zarunil says:

    Awesome. I’ve been wanting an official Steam app for Android. Currently using the very unofficial app “Steam for Android”, which tbh isn’t all that great.

  19. Raiyne says:

    It would be cool if they let you use your phone for voice chat!

  20. Cim says:

    Very much looking forward to this. I want Gabe’s massive invention in my pocket right now!

  21. elnalter says:

    I’d probably commit suicide at the valve office if half life 3 was ipad exclusive

  22. MDevonB says:

    Steam on iOS before any method to access the fucking chat client through Linux? Seriously, I can understand them not wanting to divulge their chat protocols (barely) but they could at least throw together a Pidgin plug-in or something. If thats too god damn much effort, they could make it like AIM Express or Facebook chat or any of the other ones I really hate using, but put up with anyway.

  23. wodin says:

    Androidspads234iostabletmobiles….biggest threat to decent games especially the PC. Most games have no depth are are designed for the casual gamer.

    Oh hum.