Starting today, users of the PlayStation App on Android and iOS devices can expect several significant changes, including a redesigned UI front end. According to PlayStation Senior Vice President Hideaki Nishino, who announced the revamp on the PlayStation Blog, the changes are aimed at amplifying your connections with friends and the games you love to play even when you’re away from your console.”
To begin with, the user interface has been visually slimmed down in order to make it easer for users to observe what activities their friends are up to, see details about the games they have recently been playing and review their Trophy List. PS Messages, an instant messaging system that was once a component of the PS App but in recent years was segmented off into its own standalone app (to the delight of practically no one) has been brought back into the fold, allowing users to seamlessly communicate with all their friends via a single app. Existing messages and threads will be carried over from the defunct PS Messages to the new app.
Speaking of carrying over, the new Voice Chat and Party Groups system recently introduced in the PS4 system software update 8.00 will also make its way into the App, love it or hate it. This will allow players to create party groups right from the PS App, and voice chat with up to 15 friends via smartphone.
On top of these social features, two quality of life improvements have been made to the PS App that will likely prove invaluable to the majority of its users, even if they never use it to communicate with other people. The first addition is a “natively integrated” PlayStation Store that will offer users a faster shopping and browsing experience, complete with the ability to remotely set up downloads of games and add-ons directly to their PS4 or PS5 console. The second new feature however is certain to be welcomed by every PS5 owner thanks to the near-uncomfortable 664GB of space on the console’s internal SSD, which is the ability to remotely manage storage space on the internal drive. Players will be able to select games installed on their console for deletion if they are running out of room, and they can also sign into their PS5 via the App and even launch a game right from their mobile device.
Finally, users will be able to keep up with all that’s happening in the world of PlayStation via a new tab called the Explore tab, which acts as a feed in which official news from Sony’s developers and the PlayStation Blog will bubble up in real time. Ideally, when taking into account the overall integration of PS Messages, the PS Store and storage management for PS5 into the new PS App, PlayStation users at the very least can look forward to less time spent time jumping between standalone web and mobile PlayStation apps and more quality time spent gaming, whether it be alone or with friends.