If you’re a frequent PC gamer like me, odds are excellent that you use the Valve’s Steam service constantly. It’s become one of the most popular methods for buying games and connecting with friends over them, to say nothing of the awesome sales on downloadable games that happen most weekends. If you’re tired of checking up on the Steam web store via your Android phone’s browser, there’s a new alternative out there: Steam for Android, from developer IBF Programs.
The app doesn’t really replicate the features of the desktop program, because Steam is a closed system – it’s not altogether unlikely that you’ll see a Valve-produced app at some point, but they’ve got bigger things on their hands at the moment. Like adding more hats to Team Fortress 2. But Steam for Android gets around this by using your public Steam profile to check up on friends and updates. Best of all, it includes a direct line to Steam’s remarkable sales and discounts, with a links to the Steam online store.
All of this is wrapped up in a truly excellent UI – seriously, it’s one of the best presentations I’ve seen for a new Android app in months. I only wish it was easier to get in to. In order to see anything (including the store and discounts) you’ll have to track down the long string of numbers in your Steam profile’s URL, necessitating a jump to a computer or the browser app. But that’s a small complaint, and likely to become optional at some point. For social connections within Steam, there’s just no better way to manage is in Android. If your PC gaming world is Steam powered, go download Steam for Android for free in the Android Market.