Revisiting Second Life mobile options

Logos copyright and Trademark Google, Linden Lab and Apple Inc., respectively

With the recent confirmation that Linden Lab is working on an iOS solution for accessing Second Life, there has been renewed interest in what is available – and it struck me that since my initial reviews of mobile clients such as Mobile Grid Client (2011) – and with the exception of Lumiya – I’ve not really updated on those clients that are available.

This being the case, here’s a quick round-up of those mobile (Android and iOS) solutions recorded on the Third Party Viewer Directory. These are not intended to be comprehensive reviews, but will hopefully provide a general overview of the products and their capabilities / status.

Android

Mobile Grid Client

  • Available since: 2010.
  • Last updated: 2016.
  • Text only.
  • Subscription package.
  • OpenSim support: yes.
  • Website.
  • Reviewed:  November 2011.

Mobile Grid Client is the longest running of the Android clients listed on the TPV Directory. A text-only application, it provides a range of options, including OpenSim support – but these are subject to the subscription package taken, one of which must be selected after an initial 14-day trial period.

Mobile Grid Client: inventory options (note some , such as the give / copy options are only available by taking the “Pro” subscription)

The available subscription options  are:

  • “Standard” version: L$250 per month, with a selection of features disabled (e.g. giving inventory to others, creating / copying notecards, changing your active group, paying avatars, OpenSim support).
  • “Pro” version L$450 per month / L$4500 per years, with access to all available features.

Please refer to the Mobile Grid Client licensing page for a breakdown of the application’s features by subscription model.

Opinion

In 2011, this was a reasonable application, given what was available at the time. Today, however, and even allowing for the subscription payments being non-recurring (so opting out is easy at the end of a subscription period), when compared to Lumiya (below), Mobile Grid Client is notably over-priced, even at the “Standard” subscription model.

Lumiya

  • Available since: 2012.
  • Last updated: October 2017.
  • Text  and graphical.
  • Single payment.
  • OpenSim support: yes.
  • Website
  • Reviewed:  March 2012-January 2017.

First released in 2012, Lumiya was, up until the start of 2017, routinely updated to keep pace with the latest viewer releases from Linden Lab as well as to provide bug fixing issues with various android platforms.

This application has such a well-rounded suite of capabilities, including plug-ins for voice and improved rendering (both available for free), that it pretty much matches the “full” viewer in features and functions, up to and including Bento support (January, 2017). It even has VR (Cardboard) support!

Lumiya even support HUD use in its 3D world view

Initially text-only when first introduced, Lumiya quickly progressed to basic graphical rendering prior to maturing into a very capable graphical client with continued improvements to the graphical UI to allow for better, easier and more comprehensive in-world interactions. For those who use it, Lumiya also respects RLV / RLVa

Opinion

Lumiya is the Rolls Royce of mobile Second Life / OpenSim clients, although development work seems to have frozen. There have been recent issues for some with the use of voice in recent months.

Even for occasional text use, inventory management, etc., this is the go-to Android client, while the 3D world rendering adds a whole now level to mobile SL / OpenSim use. True, the graphics are not as crisp and fresh as the “full” viewer, but considering everything Lumiya is packing into a hand-held device and it has not been developed within major financial input and technical support, it is not to be dismissed on that basis.

Very much the standard-bearer for what can be developed by way of mobile SL / OpenSim applications using Android.

LittleSight

  • Available since: 2012.
  • Last updated: October 2016.
  • Text  and graphical.
  • Single payment.
  • OpenSim support: No.
  • Google Play web page
  • Reviewed:  July 2012.

Appearing around the same time as Lumiya, LittleSight provides basic text chat and IM capabilities to users – albeit with ads displayed periodically. Additional capabilities, such as teleporting, and the removal of the ads can be had on payment of a small fee.

LittleSight: free for basic messaging. What to teleport / get rid of ads? Pay the fee – or just get Lumiya: you still pay, but you get way more bang for your bucks
Opinion

The most limited of the three Android clients, and one with reported issues for users trying to log-in with the latest version. While I encountered no problems myself with logged-in on re-installing LittleSight on my tablet device, I did find the map failed to render, but that seemed to be the only issue.

Given the need for payment, and the sheer volume of capabilities presented in Lumiya, unless the latter expressly will on work on a particular device, it is hard to see why anyone would opt to use LittleSight. You may not need all the tools available in Lumiya, but having them available just in case is not necessarily a bad thing.

Continue reading “Revisiting Second Life mobile options”

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Of ringworlds, time, and field agents (2)

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, January 14th 19:00: Ringworld

Gyro Muggins reads the first in Larry Niven’s science fiction series focused on a gigantic artificial ring, the Ringworld, built around a far away star at a distance roughly equivalent to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun.

Roughly 1.6 million km wide, the ring rotates slowly around its central star to provide a gravity on its inner surface roughly equivalent to that of Earth, and it has an atmosphere suitable for humans. It was built by a race known as the Puppeteers, who have been working to affect both humans and the cat-like, warrior Kzin.

Regarded as a classic, Niven’s novel (and later series) is also curiously contradictory. On the one hand, it is focused on exact science of advanced technologies, but on the other it engages in bizarrely pseudo-scientific fantasy conceptions.

The series sits within Niven’s broader Known Space series, the fictional setting of about a dozen novels and several collections of short stories, and which encompasses his Man-Kzin wars series. In addition, the idea of the ringworld it presents is regarded as the inspiration for the Halo series of video games, and there are multiple similarities between the two.

Tuesday, January 15th 19:00: The Time Keeper

The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years.

Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world – now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began – and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, Father Time must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Join Caledonia Skytower and Kayden OConnell as they read Mitch Albom’s 2012 novel.

Wednesday, January 16th 19:00: The Jennifer Morgue

Corwyn Allen reads the second volume in the Laundry Files by Charles Stross.

Bob Howard is an IT expert and occasional field agent for the Laundry, the branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service that deals with occult threats. In this second outing, Bob Howard finds himself dragged into the machinations and conspiracies of megalomaniac multi-billionaire Ellis Billington, The Black Chamber and The Laundry…

Dressed in a tuxedo (what else for a globe-trotting British Secret Agent?) and sent to the Caribbean, Bob must infiltrate Billington’s inner circle via his luxurious yacht. His mission? Prevent the Billington from violating a treaty that will bring down the wrath of an ancient underwater race upon humanity’s head.

Offering a wonderful pastiche on both the world of James Bond and a wonderful mimicking of Ian Fleming’s style of writing, Stross produces a novel that also evokes Lovecraftian overtones that is delightfully entertaining to read. In true Bond style, Bob is (reluctantly) partnered with an American agent – in this case a stunningly beautiful woman who also just happens to be a soul-sucking succubus from another dimension. Which, being the case, marks Bob’s mission somewhat differently to those of Bond: not only must he stop the bad guys and come through this at best shaken, he must totally avoid being stirred towards getting the girl…

Thursday, January 17th: 19:00: Moana Part 2

With Shandon Loring & Caledonia Skytower. Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

2019 viewer release summaries: week #2

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 13th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5/V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A Sky Hye art gallery in Second Life

Art Gallery Sky Hye: Wash Drawings

Located close to the channel connecting Blake Sea with Second Norway lies Foliage, a Homestead region noted for the presence of the Foliage airstrip and the Art Gallery Sky Hye, both of which are distinctive in the use of Art Deco style buildings designed by region holder Transparent Banshee (who also presents the neighbouring and massive Greenhouse next door).

The Art Gallery Sky Hye is home to the work of physical world artist and teacher / animator Sky Hye.  Within it she presents a modest selection of her work in various styles and mediums, complete with explanatory text that provides insight into the techniques used to produce the art, thus providing an added layer of creative context to the displays.

Art Gallery Sky Hye: Threatened Landscapes

The building has a pleasant open plan look with high ceilings featuring a glass archway skylight, and space for a galleried upper level, all of which allows plenty of ambient light within the design. The lower level is divided into three areas. To the left on entering from the landing point give above, are two paintings from a series entitled Threatened Landscapes, and which show two tranquil country settings, either of which could have been painted as much in Second Life as in the physical world. A sculpture by region holder Transparent Banshee sits directly before the paintings, and a further sculpture (by Wolk Writer) can be found in the grounds of the gallery.

Split between the lower and upper levels are two displays of monotype images. As the gallery notes state, these are one-off prints created by applying paint of ink to a suitable surface – glass, metal, plastic – then transferring the image to paper via printing press.

Art Gallery Sky Hye: Sand Treasures

The series on the lower level is entitled Sand Treasures, and features paintings of glass fragments, shells and seaweed found on a beach. They are quite exquisite to examine – although given their size, some careful camming is required in order to fully appreciate each in turn. On the upper level, Sky presents an intriguing set of gesture figures, which she notes were painted during a figure drawing marathon prior to being transferred to paper the following day. It is perhaps the aspect of having been produced during a marathon that gives these paintings an added dynamic edge.

Also on the upper level are two paintings produced in 1999 which beautifully illustrate the artist’s skill in classical painting techniques (a further example can also be found in her Second Life profile).

Art Gallery Sky Hye: Lyrical Series

The final display, located on the lower floor, is a series of wash drawings of the male body. These are drawings produced in a monochromatic style using ink or watercolours. For this series, Sky notes she used watercolour and bistre with hand-made and sized 100% linen paper. Again, while requiring some camming to full appreciate, this is again an exquisite series of images which demonstrates both the artist’s eye and skill.

SLurl Details