You can soon stream your Steam PC games to Android, iPhone, Apple TV

Valve Software is getting ready to launch a Steam Link app for Android, Apple iOS, and tvOS that allows PC gamers to stream their library of Steam games directly to compatible devices. But don’t too excited just yet: Steam streaming is still locked to your local network and won’t enable out-of-the-home game streaming like the PlayStation 4, despite supporting mobile devices. 

Slated to launch on May 21, Valve’s Steam Link app will presumably be served up through Google Play for Android-based phones, tablets, TVs and set-top boxes, and through Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (tvOS). The company did not mention a possible Steam Link app for MacOS. 

Right now, Steam’s in-home streaming component works two ways, both of which require a PC that can simultaneously handle high-definition graphics and the stream output itself. Ideally, this PC is wired to the local network through one or two Ethernet connections although a good 5GHz wireless connection works, too. Meanwhile, the recipient device can be wired or wireless: A desktop or laptop logged into your Steam account (Windows, Linux, or MacOS), or Valve’s dedicated Steam Link set-top box. 

For the Steam Link app, Valve specifically lists a wired or a 5GHz wireless connection. The company doesn’t say if the app will provide on-screen controls for touch-based input on smartphones and tablets, but what’s interesting here is that Valve is seemingly re-entering console territory without the Steam Machine. After all, you can stream the PlayStation 4 to a PlayStation Vita or compatible Sony-made mobile device. 

As for input, Valve says the upcoming app will support the Steam Controller, MFi-based controllers, and “more across both platforms.” Never heard of MFi? That’s an Apple platform, meaning the controller is made specifically for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. For instance, Apple lists the SteelSeries Nimbus and the Horipad Ultimate as the ideal wireless controllers for Apple TV, both of which are $50. 

Finally, the Android, iOS, and tvOS versions will launch on May 21, but the Android variant will initially be offered as a beta given the multitude of Android-based devices on the market. 

After Valve’s Steam Link app hits the scene later in May, the company will then introduce the Steam Video app later this summer. Rather than stream your library of PC games locally to Android and iOS devices, this app will stream all movies and TV shows purchased on Valve’s platform. Even more, customers won’t be locked down to their local network: Steam Video will support video streaming over an LTE mobile connection. You can also download video to your device for offline viewing. 

Steam began offering movie rentals at the end of April 2016. The library has since grown to offer options to purchase movies, single TV episodes and full seasons. But the platform currently doesn’t have a large enough arsenal to compete with Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and other digital media platforms. The current top sellers on Steam include Bleach season 3, Jigsaw, Saw, My Little Pony, and The Walking Dead season 7. 

Computing

Cast your PC and Steam games to your Xbox One with Microsoft’s new app

Available as a free download on the game console, the new Microsoft app brings the WiFi powered Miracast experience already available on Surface Hub and Windows 10 devices over to the Xbox One.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Mobile

T-Mobile, unlocked Galaxy Note 9 phones finally getting Android Pie update

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Computing

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.