The Lumiya text client for Android, which I reviewed last month continues to be enhanced with new features. Version 1.3.1, released on the 15th April. These introduce the ability to interact (to some degree) with in-world objects and the ability to carry out payment transactions (i.e. pay other avatars or objects such as rental boxes). These are two potentially useful additions for those who are on the go, and need to access SL to pay tier, etc., but don’t have access to the computer.
Making Direct Payments to Others
You can now pay people directly on Lumiya quickly and directly. From the main screen, tap your phone’s menu button, then tap CONTACTS, select the person you wish to pay from your list of contacts (tap to highlight), then tap you phone’s menu button again and tap PAY to display the payment screen, as shown in the sequence below (some steps abbreviated for clarity, as they say).
The Touch option within Lumiya is a potentially useful addition to the client and works with menu-driven objects that respond to a left mouse click. When starting Lumiya now, there is a new button displayed at the top of the main screen – OBJECTS. Tapping this opens a list of objects available to you. Be default, this is “limited” to in-world “descriptive” objects, although you can opt to extend it to include your own attachments and “non-descriptive” objects (so prims simply called “object” will be listed for example).
Tapping on the name of an object will open-up a further dialogue box that provides general information on the item – description, creator, etc., and which includes a TOUCH button (below).
It’s here that things might get a little confusing. One might expect tapping TOUCH to open the objects dialogue box – but it doesn’t appear to. Instead, an easily missed prompt is displayed at the top of the screen informing you that you have a NEW MESSAGE IN CHAT.
To use the object’s menu, you now need to use your phone’s return key to get back to the Lumiya main screen to see the dialogue box and menu (right).
This is slightly cumbersome but given the way SL works and Lumiya is configured with (obviously) limited screen space, it’s understandable.
However, there are one or two other issues with the approach as implemented. The application polls the entire sim you’re on for touchable objects. This means that you can end up with a very long list of items which cannot be sorted. Also, this list appears to include any sub-components of an object that themselves contain a script. The not only lengthens the list of objects (increasing scroll time), it also risks annoying mis-clicks when trying to access an item.
Both of these issues are negated by the fact there is a search option at the top of the list, allowing you to focus results down to a handful of items – or even the item you want to touch, if you know it’s in-world name.
Paying an object is as straightforward as paying a person – once the object is selected from the list, click the TOUCH button from its information page, and a payment page is automatically opened (right).
Currently, the system is restricted to activating your own attachments; I’ve no idea as to whether it will be extended to include attachment on others, which some might find useful.
Channel Recognition and Timestamps
Lumiya 1.3.1also adds channel commands to its capabilities (so “/102 command” will be recognised, for example), and also adds timestamps to chat. The latter can be turned off by unchecking TIMESTAMP IN CHAT in the Settings options (phone’s menu button->SETTINGS).
The addition of interaction capabilities to Lumiya definitely makes it more of an attractive offering, the listing issue notwithstanding. Those on the go who have an Android phone are likely to find having a payment option handy, while the ability to at least interact with objects helps improve the overall feeling of engagement with SL when one is unable to use a graphical Viewer.