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Nintendo's Switch Online smartphone app is now available

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

After launching the Switch without an online service to speak of, Nintendo has released the iOS and Android app that will be required for much of the system's internet functionality. Nintendo Switch Online will handle voice chat, game invites, and various other features for games that support the app; Splatoon 2, for instance, has its own ranking and information service called SplatNet 2.

Splatoon 2 won't be released until Friday, and until then there isn't really much you can do with the Nintendo Switch Online app; it's launched a few days earlier than expected. The service is free for the rest of the year, but from 2018 Nintendo will charge $19.99 yearly — that fee will also give you access to an as-yet unspecified library of classic Nintendo games.