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PlayStation app for iPhone, Android connects to PSN, doesn't play games yet

Sony's official PlayStation app is available in Google and Apple's app stores now, offering news and PlayStation Network connectivity, with the promise of more features to come.

PlayStation Phone? What PlayStation Phone? As the gaming world awaits the official debut of Sony Ericsson's much-leaked gaming smart phone, Sony's official new PlayStation app for Android and iPhone is giving a taste of what's to come.

Hold your horses: it doesn't let you play games -- yet. Instead, the app lets you connect to your PlayStation Network profile to see what friends are up to, and give your PSN trophies a virtual polish.

(Key use: persuading sceptical strangers that you really have earned the Crushing Mode Completion trophy in Uncharted without having to drag them back to your house.)

The app also provides news on PlayStation 3, PSP and PS2 games and hardware -- complete with obligatory Twitter and Facebook sharing options -- as well as posts from Sony's European PlayStation blog.

Version 1.0 of the app works on iPhone and iPod touch devices running iOS 4 and above, as well as Android phones running OS 1.6 and above.

The app is the work of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, so the UK is one of a select bunch of countries to get it, along with France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

Sony says it's already working on the next update, although for now it's keeping mum on what sort of features it plans to introduce.

But actual gameplay, such as support for downloadable PSP games? Don't hold your breath. Apple's approval of such a feature certainly can't be guaranteed, and it would be strange for Sony to encourage people to play its games on a non-Sony device.

Adding text, voice and even video chat to the PlayStation app would be less problematic from both those points of view, allowing you to chat to your PSN friends on the go.

Here's the direct link to download the free iPhone app from the App Store. If you're an Android user, you'll have to search for 'PlayStation' on the Android Market.

Sony's rivals Microsoft and Nintendo have yet to launch their own official apps for iPhone or Android, although Windows Phone 7 mobiles link into Xbox Live as standard.