Bottom line: Sony's PlayStation companion apps were a bit all over the place during the PS4-only era, but now it has come up with a sleek new version that combines messaging, voice chats, news, PS Store, and game management all in one place. It also adds in a few PS5-specific features, allowing users to remotely launch games and manage their console's storage from their iOS/Android smartphones.
It's certainly convenient to be able to manage your games when you're out for grocery shopping, remotely having your console download a new title or an update so it's ready to play when you are. Microsoft touted this functionality in its Xbox app for mobile that we recently saw in the Series X demo, and Sony has now revealed an updated companion app that offers the same functionality to PlayStation 4 and 5 owners.
Sony's redesigned PlayStation app, available for iPhones (iOS 12.2 and later) and Android (6.0 or later), brings a much-needed improvement to the visuals and layout, making it consistent with the PS5's revamped UI. It also streamlines several important PlayStation features by bringing chat, Party, PS Store, and remote games download/management in a single app. Consequently, Sony's standalone PS Messages app will no longer work, and users' existing chats and threads will carry over to the new app.
As with the PS5, Sony has integrated the PlayStation Store experience into its mobile app, allowing PS4 and PS5 owners to browse, buy, and remotely download games/add-ons directly to their consoles. The app also allows for remotely signing-in, launching games, and managing storage for PS5 users should they run out of space during a hefty download. Additionally, there's an Explore tab to keep users up to date with official PlayStation news.
Last week, Sony clarified its stance on the voice recording feature for PS4/PS5 users as part of the 8.00 system update for the PS4, and with the reveal of its new app, the company says that it's listening and evaluating user feedback for changes made to the Party feature in that release.