Nintendo Switch online update makes voice chat slightly less awful

It isn't exactly a secret that the online systems for Nintendo Switch launched in a sorry state. After not being present on the console at launch, features like voice chat released alongside Splatoon 2 back in July. What players were given certainly wasn't an encouraging sign for a service that Nintendo wants us to pay for at some point in the future.

Many complaints revolved around the fact that the smartphone app used for voice chat essentially commandeered whatever device it was running on. You couldn't run the app in the background or lock your screen, meaning your phone's display needed to be on and the app needed to be open in order to keep chatting. This, as you can imagine, was a pain for a lot of players.

Good news, though: those days are over. Nintendo has updated its Switch online app on both iOS and Android to version 1.1.0. Along with the update come new functionality that allows voice chat to continue when the app is running in the background and when your device is locked.

In fact, this new functionality is pretty much the only thing mentioned in Nintendo's patch notes. Android users will also see "improved support for Bluetooth devices," but beyond that, the focus of this update is improving the voice chatting experience. Hopefully this is the first in a long line of improvements to the Switch's system, because for many, it's currently hard to imagine paying a yearly fee for the service in the state it launched in.

We'll see if Nintendo can keep the updates rolling between now and when it's planning to implement that fee, which should be sometime in 2018. As for the update, it appears to be live now on both Android [download] and iOS [download], so give it a try and see if makes your Splatoon 2 voice sessions any better.