New Nintendo Switch App Update Finally Lets You Chat With Your Phone Screen Locked

The Nintendo Switch Online app launched on mobile back in July, allowing you to chat to your friends online and invite people to matches on Splatoon 2. However, it launched with one big problem: it required you to keep your phone unlocked and the app open, otherwise you would be unable to talk to your friends.

Now, the app has been updated on both iOS and Android to allow you to lock your phone screen or use other apps and continue chatting to your friends. Update 1.1.0's patch notes state "Voice chat will now continue when other apps are opened … [and] during sleep mode." Nintendo notes, however, that devices running Android 6.0 or later will not allow you to continue chatting while not in the app if you have power-saving mode turned on. The company advises those users to deactivate battery optimisation in the app's settings.

For now, the Nintendo Switch Online App remains free, but it will require a subscription fee of $20 / €20 per year when the Switch's online service launches in full in 2018. It will include online multiplayer access and voice chat, and you'll also get to download classic games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario.

In spite of the problems with the app, Splatoon 2 was well-received by critics. GameSpot awarded it an 8/10, with critic Kallie Plagge writing, "All the small changes, and even the bigger ones in single player and League Battles, make for a fresh take on the already unique shooter. If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you're new to the game, it's a fantastic place to jump in." Read more in our full Splatoon 2 review.