Nintendo Switch Online's mobile app just made it significantly easier to send friend requests to your pals.
Updating to the latest version of the Nintendo Switch Online app enables you to copy your lengthy friend code as a URL. By sending that URL to a friend, they can tap it to open their app and instantly send you a friend request. So there's no longer a need to manually copy and paste the friend code itself into the app's friend request section (thanks, The Verge).
Alternatively, you can now save your Nintendo Switch friend code as a QR code. When shared with others, they can scan the QR code to send you a friend request, essentially bypassing the need to interact with Nintendo's cumbersome friend code system.
How to update the Nintendo Switch Online app
The Nintendo Switch Online app is free to download from the App Store on iOS and the Play Store on Android. But if you already have the app downloaded, it might not update automatically.
To fix this, simply head to the Nintendo Switch Online app's store page and tap 'Update.' This will download the latest version of the app (Ver. 2.2.0), adding the new friend code features in the process.
Nintendo embraces modernity
Prior to this update, I always saw the Nintendo Switch Online app as a damp squib. It lets you browse your friends list and start (aggravatingly low-quality) voice chats. Some specific services for a handful of the best Nintendo Switch games are also available to browse. But that's about it.
Now, though, the app's ability to share friend codes has dramatically improved. Before the update, your only option for sharing friend codes was to copy them as plain text. A shockingly half-baked implementation, then, but at least it's now ready to come out of the oven thanks to these improvements.
Having a variety of ways to send friend requests is obviously nothing new on rival platforms. But Nintendo has always been hamstrung in this regard due to its frustrating commitment to the clunky friend code system we've had to deal with since the days of the Wii.
In the grand scheme of things, then, these friend request improvements aren't a hug deal. But for Nintendo, it's a step away from its archaic friend code sharing trappings. Even if it's more of a slight tiptoe than a full stride.