The disjointed rollout of Nintendo Switch online features continues, as the company has released its mobile apps for iOS and Android ahead of the Splatoon 2 launch on Friday. That's going to be the first game to make use of the Switch Online app, which is needed for voice chat and to send game invites over social media. Yes, that's right, to speak to other gamers you'll need your phone plugged into headphones. The apps themselves aren't actually functional yet, but we assume that will change by Friday.
Once they're active, gamers can use them them not just for communication, but also as a way to access the SplatNet 2 portal to view stats and buy gear. Eventually Nintendo plans to charge $20 per year for Online features, but this year it's in beta for free. As the FAQ explains, they're only available in the Americas right now, and voice chat will disconnect if you take a phone call or switch to another app.