Steam game and video streaming will soon work on Android and iOS

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.

Comments closed
    • Star Brood
    • 1 year ago

    I have the Apple TV 3rd gen so that won’t work. Anyone here have recommendations on a box (cheap if possible) that might get the job done?

    • Theolendras
    • 1 year ago

    Yess ! I’ve been wishing for this for some time. Finally casual sessions on the lazy boy.

    • Anovoca
    • 1 year ago

    I have found Splashtop to be one the better solutions out there. I have been using it for about 4 years now for desktop streaming, including playing video games. The latency is low enough for most games on home wifi and for the cost of $1 a month I can use it over 4g or public wifi. The other bonus is it is a full desktop streamer not just a steam library stream so I can use it to rdp to my plex server and queue up handbreak from work, or even play WoW if the wifi connection is fast enough.

    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    I hope this works better than the Steam Link box. I tried that with a 1080p monitor. While playing a pretty tame RTS (Supreme Commander), it kept going very pixelated and soft and then getting finer and finer until it was normal looking (with jpeg type artifacts) and then it would go all fuzzy again. And that was over a wired 1G ethernet connection.

    Then again, it was only $5 from Amazon. On the plus side, the Steam Controller is a wonderful piece of hardware!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      Supreme Commander was notoriously hard on hardware. Even on a relatively modern system (last time I played it was on my old Ivy Bridge rig) it could occasionally have to sim enough that it would go slower-than-realtime in huge battles.

      On the Shield, I only a couple times played anything with a mouse pointer because lag was too much. It’s best served by games that use controllers.

        • willmore
        • 1 year ago

        Oh, surely, it’s CPU heavy when there are a lot of unit on the screen. But my test were at the beginning of a game with an almost empty board, so very little was moving. I never even got far enough into the game for the CPU to get bogged down. ;(

          • derFunkenstein
          • 1 year ago

          Hmm. Well there’s a ton of variables: the network type, bandwidth settings, GPU encoding, or maybe the device just sucks. I have had a great experience with the Shield and I figured the Steam Link was just the same but dedicated only to streaming. Maybe not.

            • willmore
            • 1 year ago

            The network was all switched GigE, the bandwidth setting on both ends were set to max. The GPU on the sending machine was used for encoding (RX580). That leaves “the device sucks” IIRC. 🙂

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      Steam Link can’t even handle a visual novel. I get far better results just streaming to a laptop.

      Or, indeed, just using said laptop natively.

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      I wonder how that steam controller did commercially. I never seemed to see any follow up after the initial reviews.

      • YellaChicken
      • 1 year ago

      I generally have a decent experience with my Steam link box. I did have quality issues when I tried it wireless like you’ve described but once I’d got a cable to it it was near perfect.

      Though I do find some games seem to work better than others. Nothing to do with graphical quality but a couple of games sometimes decide to run with no sound (never happens on the PC) and I sometimes find my xbox 360 controller doesn’t get picked up in some games. Both issues are intermittent and tend to require both the game and the Steam link box to be restarted. Bit of a pain that.

      Edit: How easy was it to get used to the Steam Controller btw? Been wondering about getting one but I’d heard some ppl just don’t get along with it.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]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. [/quote<] Hey that's a really great point. My Shield TV already does this with Nvidia hardware, but that'd open it up to all Android TV boxes and PCs with all GPUs.

      • cygnus1
      • 1 year ago

      The Shield game streaming has potential to be better. It’s connecting thru GeForce Experience which can stream non-Steam games as well.

        • willmore
        • 1 year ago

        You can register non-Steam games with Steam and play them over Steam Link, IIRC.

          • cygnus1
          • 1 year ago

          Ahh, did not realize that. Google says you just have to add the non-Steam game to your Steam library. I’ve seen that option for years but never tinkered with adding non-Steam games to the Steam library, never saw the point. And voila, now it’s got a purpose.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Just add non-steam games to your Steam library and Steam can stream anything. That’s how I always streamed, because GF Experience on the Shield also doesn’t see all the games I have installed (particularly older ones).

        A moot point these days since I no longer own a GeForce, so now I can’t stream anything. 😆

      • Theolendras
      • 1 year ago

      There is definnitely an issue with your setup, never had problem when wired, sometimes do with a wireless windows PC tough, but that’s the nature of the beast.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Just what are you replying to? I didn’t have any problems.

          • Theolendras
          • 1 year ago

          Sorry, my bad.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 1 year ago

            All good! Guessing you meant to reply to Willmore.

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