Newly Updated Steam App Lets You Start Remote Downloads to Your PC
Valve has offered mobile apps on Android and iOS since the early days of the smartphone era, and it’s barely improved the apps since then. That’s changing at last with a complete revamp for the Steam Mobile app. The new version, now live on both platforms, has a more functional design, additional login options, and the ability to remotely install games on your PC.
Prior to this redesign, the Steam Mobile app was essentially a wrapper for the mobile website. It was probably worse than just using your browser, though. Navigation was clunky, text didn’t flow properly, and it was prone to crashing. As you might expect, user reviews in the App Store and Play Store are bad. That should begin to change now that the new app is live after being tested as a beta release.
The new app looks much better, with an interface in the same style as the recently updated library in the desktop client. Hopefully, this is a step toward making Steam’s UI consistent across platforms. The new app’s performance (at least on Android) is smooth. It does still do some silly things, like exiting when you trigger the back button/gesture instead of going back one screen. So, there’s clearly still room for improvement.
Valve has added some new features with the update, including the ability to log into your Steam account on other devices from your phone. After enabling the authenticator, you no longer have to type your username and password, and then wait for a Steam Guard code to be sent. Instead, Steam will show you a QR code, which you just scan with your camera in the app.
Perhaps the most useful feature in the new app is the ability to begin game installs on your computer from anywhere. That way, your shiny new game will be ready to play as soon as you sit down. The option is available in your game library (which has also gotten a much-needed redesign) under the “Remote Download” header. It will show you the connected PC client, as well as the total space required. In our testing, it only takes a few seconds to begin the remote installation.
While the Steam app used to support chat, the new version does not. Tapping the chat option will link you to the dedicated Steam Chat app in your app store of choice. That app has, unfortunately, not been getting the level of attention as the main Steam Mobile app.