Steam apps for iOS and Android released

Well, well. How about that? Steam sure seems to be getting a taste for new platforms.

After venturing onto the Mac in mid-2010, Valve's game distribution and social gaming platform has now arrived on smartphones—albeit in a limited capacity. Valve now offers a beta Steam app for iOS and Android, which lets users "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."

In the official announcement, Valve head honcho Gabe Newell explains his company's rationale for serving smartphone users:

"The Steam app comes from many direct requests from our customers," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Seeing which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale - these are all features customers have requested. Mobile is changing way people interact, play games and consume media, and the Steam app is part of our commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone."

Clearly, mobile gaming is out of the app's scope for the time being. Knowing Valve, though, I wouldn't be surprised to see the company enter that market sooner or later.

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