Valve has announced a new Steam Chat standalone mobile app, available for Android and iOS. While there was already a standard Steam app for Android and iOS that included chat, this new app is touted as a modernized Steam chat experience, including many key features of the desktop Steam client, such as the Friends List, allowing you to see who's in-game or just online, a richer chat experience with support for higher fidelity links, videos, tweets, GIFs, Giphy, Steam emoticons, and more. It also streamlines the invite option to bring friends from other apps with a quickly generated invite link. You can also have group chats with your friends and organize your gaming groups.
Valve also offers Android users without access to Google Play the APK file to download and install the current version of the Steam Chat app. They've also created a Steam group for the Steam Chat app on Steam Community, which you can join here and give Valve your feedback on what the app user experience is like so far.
They have also announced that they are already working on improvements to the Steam Chat app, including voice chat. As they move Steam Chat to its own dedicated app, the original Steam Mobile app will also see significant upgrades focused on account security. Among these upgrades are better Steam Guard options to help securely log into your Steam account, such as QR codes and one-touch login, as well as improved app navigation.
This is another notch in Valve's recent focus on features after reaching one billion accounts (thousands of them scam, spam, and bot accounts, obviously), as a plus for both for users and developers, very likely a way of dealing with the current competition. Time will tell whether a wealth of features are enough to maintain its towering status over digital distribution.
Do you plan on using the Steam Chat app? Are your gaming multiplayer sessions planned over Steam Chat or Discord? Let us know in the comments below!