While Razer made a name for itself with gaming peripherals, they’ve been steadily increasing their software offerings. With their latest effort, a new unified version of their Razer Comms communications software, they’ve started to increase their presence into the mobile space.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Razer Comms offers many of the same communications features as Steam does, but it’s a lot more powerful. There’s an in-game overlay UI that can be invoked with a shortcut on top of whatever game you’re playing. Comms incorporates, chatting and voice communications, including a handy push-to-talk feature.
You aren’t limited to playing the same game, or using the same service, or, now, even running the same operating system.
Think of it as a Skype that is tightly integrated into your gaming experience.
The new version lets gamers who use an Android phone receive and reply to text messages, straight from within the in-game Razer Comms overlay. You can also see who’s calling and reject the phone call if it isn’t important. If you decline to take the call, you can choose to reply with a text message; Razer has pre-generated a few, but you can select your own if, “Trying not to die in fire. I’ll call you later.” might make your mother worry.
It’s pretty cool that you can manage all this without having to leave the game or even touch your phone.
Meanwhile, you can also make Comms VoIP calls and send IMs from Android to PC, or vice-versa. We’re still waiting to hear whether two Android users can use the service to communicate with each other. (UPDATE: It can’t – PC-to-mobile and mobile-to-PC only (UPDATEUPDATE: The Razer rep had it backwards – the Android app can be used for mobile-to-mobile communication, all on its own)).
While the new Comms software is limited to PC and Android users, Razer is tentatively planning an iOS version to be released in the first quarter of 2014. Hopefully we’ll see the Comms software spread to OS X and, if it becomes worthwhile, SteamOS, at some future date.
Like all the other iterations of the Razer Comms app, the software is free to download and use. You can download it here.