One of the things that bothered me in regards to Valve's Steam software was that you were only able to send messages to online friends and not to those who were offline at the time of writing. Somewhat related to that was that Steam did not display the recent chat history when you closed and reopened chat windows, for instance after a restart of Steam or by accidentally closing a chat window.
It happened more than once that I had to request information again, for instance a new Teamspeak server IP or password, after closing the chat window the information were posted in.
Yesterday's Steam client update brings exciting new features to Steam. First, you can now send messages to all friends regardless of their status. The sending works like usual and friends who are not online at the time of sending will receive the message once they come back online. Steam informs them about new messages at the top right of the application window.
The gaming client furthermore displays the recent chat history whenever you open a chat window so that you can access information that have been exchanged earlier. While it does not allow you to go back months, it makes sure that accidentally closing a chat window will no longer lead to frustration and erased chat messages.
Past messages are displayed in grey while recent messages in the standard color so that you can easily distinguish between new and old messages.
That's however not the only change in this version of Steam. Valve has added a web chat interface to Steam so that users can now sign in to their Steam account on the Steampowered website to chat with their friends.
Other important changes and additions in this release include:
- Improved startup time for users with large screenshot folders
- Improved performance and responsiveness of the UI
- Caps Lock warning indicator to prevent password entering issues
- Better content sharing between games
The new features improve Steam's messaging considerable. While it certainly has taken a long time to integrate those features into the program, considering that they are pretty basic and supported by nearly every chat client in existence, they will certainly be welcome by the Steam community.
You can take a look at the release log here.Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.