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OnLive Android app now available, iPad version incoming

Streaming gaming service OnLive has arrived on Android tablets, with an iPad version just around the corner.

OnLive, the streaming gaming service, has finally arrived on tablets and smart phones, with an Android app live right now, and an iPad version just around the corner.

We've already played with OnLive for both Android tablets and the iPad, so expect a hands-on video very soon.

When you download the OnLive app, you get Lego: Batman thrown in for free, which isn't bad considering that game blends two of the top five best things ever. Developer Rockstar is also chipping in, sticking freaky-faced crime thriller LA Noire into the OnLive library, although you'll have to pay to play that.

The Android app requires Android 2.3 Gingerbread or later, and has been tested with most major tablets, including the Motorola Xoom and Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It also works with some Android phones, including the HTC Nexus One, HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XL.

Click here for a detailed compatibility list. The app might work on other Android kit, but these are the gadgets that have been tested so far.

The iPad version is coming soon -- it's currently going through Apple's approval process, so hopefully it'll pop up before too long. 

Games have been given a touchscreen makeover (some games have touchscreen tools built in, others use an on-screen keyboard), though the universal OnLive wireless controller -- coming soon -- can be hooked up to your tablet for a more traditional gaming experience. That could be extra handy if your phone or tablet connects to your TV via HDMI.

One issue is that you'll need a solid web connection to play. 3G likely won't cut it, so you'll be restricted to Wi-Fi connections for your tablet gaming. And if you're stuck in the house, you could just get your kicks using a regular console.

OnLive launched in the UK in September, and works by streaming games over an Internet connection. That means you can play graphically demanding games without requiring powerful gaming hardware, because all the grunt work takes place remotely.

So pretty much anything with a screen and an Internet connection can become a gaming machine.

We're not convinced OnLive is ready to beat proper consoles and app-based mobile gaming yet, with lag issues and blurry graphics occasionally hampering our enjoyment of the service. But it costs nothing to try, and most games have a free demo available, so we recommend giving it a shot.

What do you think? Will OnLive kill traditional gaming? Tell us in the comments, or on our Facebook wall