While we saw at least one impressive attempt at an unofficial Steam app, big daddy Valve has now stepped up and offered an official Steam client for Android. The ubiquitous PC game store-cloud client is incredibly popular among gamers, who have had to settle for access to the desktop web version before now. The Steam app is in beta and available as a free download on the Android Market, but unfortunately, your Steam account needs to be part of the batch of beta users in order to log in.
Most of the features of the Windows and OS X desktop Steam program are present in the mobile app – except, you know, the actual games. The expansive community settings built into the platform, including friends, chats, groups, clans and portals. Chatting with your Steam friends is apparently as simple as any mobile chat application. Of course, one of the most attractive parts of Steam is its almost constant collection of discounted games. With the app, users can buy new and discounted games directly from their phones. Technically this was possible before, but it’s a heck of a lot easier with a custom-built interface.
There’s a big let-down though – without an official Steam beta invite, you’re not getting into the app. Most Android phones can’t even see the app in the Market, though if you visit the web version you can install it remotely. Nowhere on the page is this restriction mentioned. By all accounts, the app is pretty feature complete, so we can hope for a release soon enough. Until then, get comfortable panning around the Steam Powered web site with your browser.[via Gaming Blend]