Second Life iOS companion app – mini update

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As I’ve previously reported (see: Linden Lab confirm Second Life iOS client in the making), Linden Lab is developing a companion app for Second Life that will run on Apple’s iOS.

Recently, during a Meet the Lindens session held at SL16B and at a Third Party Viewer Developer meeting, Oz Linden, the Senior Director, Second Life Engineering, provided further information on the status of the app, and what the initial release of the application will include.

While there is a degree of overlaps between what was said at the two events, there were also some differences in the information provided, with the TPV Developer meeting in particular being used to give further information on the app.

This being the case, I thought I’d offer a mini-update on the status of the app’s development, combining the comments made from both meetings into a single bullet-point list, with the relevant audio extracts from both meetings also provided for reference.

Note that throughout, Oz is only talking about the initial releases of the app, and so these notes and the audio comments should not be taken to mean the app will be “feature complete” when it appears, but that it will be enhanced over time, hopefully developing features that will make it more client-like (e.g. Radegast, MetaChat, lumiya, etc.) in general capabilities.

Summary of the comments made:

  • The app should initially be regarded as more of a communicator / companion app than a fully-rounded client:
    • It will provide a log-in option, and chat options (e.g. chat, group chat).
    • It will not present you with an in-world location, nor will your avatar rez in-world.
    • Seen as being useful for merchants / business owners to maintain contact with customers when away from their viewer.
    • Over time it will be enhanced – but additional capabilities are still TBD.
  • In theory, the app should work with both iPhones and iPads, although there may be some configuration differences.
  • The Lab have started the work of getting the initial test versions through Apple’s acceptance process.
    • It is not clear how long this will take, as it is the first time the Lab have followed this route themselves. However, it is hoped the first test version should be available in the “not too terribly distant” future.
    • When the app does appear, those wishing to test it will need to have TestFlight installed on their iPhone (or iPad), as the app will be made available though Apple’s beta testing environment for apps.
  • The major reason for selecting iOS for building an app of this kind is that at the time the decision was made, Android was well represented by Lumiya.
  • Some of the back-end infrastructure the Lab is building is support of the app might be applicable for use with a web application at some point. However, doing so is not in the current plans.

Oz’s comments from Meet the Lindens, June 25th, 2019:

Comments from the TPV Developer Meeting, June 28th, 2019 (these also include a comment on the app and iPads from Vir Linden):

  Again: note there is some overlap between these two sets of comments.

6 thoughts on “Second Life iOS companion app – mini update

  1. I am still using that villainous fruit company.

    Im interested to see what the Lab does with this. I remember having a widget on my mac that would tell me what friends were online, and there was that old stand alone chat app thing once. I’m surprised it’s taken so long, but then the Lab is always surprising me in one way or another.

    With Project Catalyst the lab could deploy their Companion app across iOS, iPadOS and MacOS. An App that’s just friend chat, group chat and MOST IMPORTANT a tool for sending and receiving notifications would i think make a huge difference to Send Life. At the moment i get IM’s and notifications as emails that mostly end up in my spam folder. To be able to receive IM’s and notifications on an IOS device and reply and send new notifications to groups without having to race to the computer and log in, would be epic.

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  2. I`m SL resident since 2006 and till today I`m waiting for an SL App, which works with IOS. I`m loving my iPhone, but I envy fervently all Android users for their mobile options to stay in contact in SL. So, hurry up Linden Lab !!!!! Btw, I`m following your blog now since a while , dear Inara, and I admire your work ! You are incomparable – what you do for all of us !!! Hugs
    Isabel Hermano

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  3. Finally! This is great news. I’ve been waiting for an official iOS companion app from Linden Lab since the launch of the iPhone. Do you parhaps know how to participate in testing the beta though TestFlight? There seems to b no official news from Linden Lab regarding beta testing participation. I did send a support ticket requesting a TestFlight invite code but if you know of any other means I can request to participate in testing the new app before its official release, please let me know.

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    1. As far as I’m aware, testing hasn’t started on the app yet – the last I heard was that the app is still being developed / LL are testing the waters to get it through Apple’s assorted hoops in order to gain approval to be made available through Apple’s platform / testing environment.

      If you’ve submitted a ticket, I’m sure you’ll hear back once they are in a position to proceed with public testing, and obviously, if I hear of any news through meetings, etc., I’ll be updating through these pages.

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