A new update for the Nintendo Switch Online app on iOS and Android devices is live and, according to Nintendo’s description of the service, previous issues with voice chat have been fixed.
In version 1.1.0, “voice chat will now continue when other apps are opened” and “voice chat will now continue during sleep mode,” according to Nintendo’s official website. When the iOS and Android apps went live in July, Switch players pointed out that not being able to use their phones for other activities, like looking up a walkthrough guide or checking messages, wasn’t exactly an example of a user-friendly design.
The new version of the apps will allow players to switch between apps on their phone without disconnecting from voice chat. Similarly, if your phone enters sleep mode while voice chat is in use — think of the way your iPhone or Android-phone behaves when apps like Spotify are active — it won’t end the conversation you’re having while playing games.
There are a couple of caveats worth mentioning, though. Players won’t be able to switch from the Nintendo Switch Online app to another app that uses the microphone or includes audio output. In practice this means turning on apps like Spotify or YouTube will likely interrupt chat, as they both use your phone’s audio output. But looking something up online or sending a text should be fine.
On the Nintendo Switch subreddit, members acknowledged that this is a step in the right direction, but aren’t celebrating the app just yet.
“This is definitely good and it's a step in get right direction,” one member wrote. “However fixing a completely broken app doesn't make the overall voice implementation any better. Baby steps I guess.”
“We’re one step closer,” another commenter wrote. “Next thing they need to do is build the function onto the console and delete the app.”
We may get more information about the future of Nintendo Switch Online and its smartphone apps today during Nintendo’s 45-minute Switch and 3DS-focused direct. That begins at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.