Elgato’s Stream Deck is a cool bit of desktop bling, but if you already have a Wi-Fi-connected screen like a phone or tablet sitting on your desk, why do you need dedicated hardware for PC and streaming shortcuts? You don’t: The official Stream Deck Mobile app can replicate basically all of the gadget’s capabilities, albeit a little bit more slowly. Previously, the official Stream Deck app for iOS was only available in subscription form, but starting today users can map up to six hotkeys for free.
That basically turns your iPhone or iPad into a Stream Deck Mini, a $70 array of six buttons with user-customizable screens. The Stream Deck Mobile app connects over your local network to the Stream Deck+ management software on your Windows or Mac machine, behaving more or less exactly like a dedicated Stream Deck device. Capabilities are primarily aimed at video and on-stream production, but basic settings and app shortcuts are popular, and plugins allow for a staggering array of functionality across tons of different games and tools.
The basic six-button setup is available for free on iOS, with a full unlock of up to 64 shortcuts available for a $2.99 subscription. There’s also a $25 yearly plan or a $50 “lifetime” unlock. While the Pro version of the app is available on Android as well, the new free tier is not, and there’s no indication of when it might be coming. That seems like an oversight for a tool aimed so squarely at power users.