Steam's in-home streaming works way better than you probably expect. Using a Steam Link, you can cast gameplay or Steam-purchased videos to any HDMI display on your home network. That functionality is about to get a whole lot more hands-on soon, though. Later this month, Valve is launching a Steam Link app for iOS and Android. In effect, it will convert your iDevices and Android screens into portable players for Steam apps and videos.
Savvy users have already been able to do this using third-party software for a while, though there are usually caveats and gotchas. Official mobile device streaming support from Valve means that the feature is more likely to work, and to work well. When using a Steam Link, the in-home streaming feature is very much akin to playing games natively on the PC itself, even when playing over Wi-Fi. One can only hope that the experience on mobile devices will be as solid.
Users will be able to transmit keyboard, mouse, and controller input through the app. The host system can be a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. Besides the obvious application of carrying your Steam library into the bathroom, one of the more interesting uses of the app will be the ability to run it on Apple TV and Android set-top boxes. Doing so will essentially convert such a device into a Steam Link. Even though the Steam Link hardware itself has frequently been available for as little as $5, this feature is still convenient for those who already have one of these third-party boxes in place.
Besides the very cool Steam Link app, Valve also announced a Steam Video app to let users watch their videos purchased from Steam directly over Wi-Fi or LTE. Folks who have taken advantage of the service's video store will surely be delighted to hear that they can take their purchases along with them.
Valve's new apps are on the way soon. The Steam Link app arrive first on May 21 in full form for iOS and as a beta for Android. Valve says the Steam Video app is coming later this summer.