Sony has released an official PlayStation app for Android and iOS devices. The app gives access to the PlayStation Network from tablet and smartphone, and allows you to chat to friends, receive game alerts, and buy games from the PlayStation Store before pushing them to your PlayStation 4 to download and install while you're away from your console.

Game alerts include notifications of your friends' game ratings, trophies, and avatar changes, as well as an indicator of when they're streaming game footage. The app can be used as a keyboard for the PS4 during gaming sessions, making text chat possible without using a pad. Your device's touchscreen can also work as a second screen for the PS4, apparently allowing "greater challenges and control" when games — such as the Playroom, pre-installed on PlayStation 4 consoles — support it.

The app can use your iOS or Android device as a second screen

The app's available now on the North American App Store and Google Play store only, but users won't be able to do much with it until the PlayStation 4's launch later this week. Check back soon for more details on how the PlayStation app will be incorporated in our full PlayStation 4 review.