Speedlight: using the Android app

via Speedlight

Earlier in February, I reviewed Speedlight, the browser-based app for accessing Second Life from almost any web browser (see Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices), February 14th). Created by long-term Second Life resident Glaznah Gassner, who is responsible for the SmartBot group / bot management application, SpeedLight is still very much under development, with the cost of the work paid form via the Gold account subscription fees and through optional Patreon support.

At the time of my first look at Speedlight, I focused on using it purely through a web browser on both a PC and on an Android device, highlighting its OS-agnostic nature. However, the team behind the app has also released Speedlight as an Android app available through Google Play, so this article serves as a brief introduction to the app.

The Android version is available for free, and offers all of the same capabilities when compared to running it within a browser, using the same style of interface. It requires Android 4.4 or above to run.

In order to use the app, you will need a Speedlight account, to which you can then link the Second Life avatar account(s) that are to be used with Speedlight (you can add and remove accounts as required). If you’ve previously created a Speedlight account via the Speedlight website, you’re good to go. If you don’t have a Speedlight account, the app will offer you the option of creating one through it.

You’ll need a Speedlight Account to use the app (in addition to your SL account) if you don’t have a Speedlight account when first using the app, you can see the Have No Account? link to create one

Those new so Speedlight will also then have to connect the avatar account(s) they wish to use with Speedlight. This is a on-time operation (unless you opt to remove an avatar account later). Link avatars to a Speedlight account is simple, and is covered in my article on the web browser version of the application (link below).

Those who already have avatar accounts link to their Speedlight account, will, on logging into the Speedlight Android app, be presented with a list of their available avatars (and can add more via the + panel if required. Tab the log-in button for the avatar that is to be used, and enter the required log-in credentials (you can optionally have the app save the credentials).

Logging-in to an SL avatar account via the Speedlight Android app

Once logged-in to Second Life via the app, note that:

  • As with the browser version, Free account holders are limited to one hour of continuous log-in time before they must re-log, while gold subscribers can remain logged-in all the time, or until actually logged out or until the Speedlight app is closed.
  • The clock in the left menu column will advise you on the remained time before you may need to re-log or will be logged out.
  • The Speedlight menu on the left of the screen will switch to a set of icons, making room for your avatar menu, just as it does in the browser version of speedlight.
  • Minimising the app will not disconnect you, and you have the choice of:
    • Logging out of SL and leaving Speedlight active on your device.
    • Exiting Speedlight, both disconnecting you from SL and terminating the current app session on your device.
  • The application offers the same options for both Free and Gold account users as seen when running Speedlight in a web browser. The only difference between the two is the larger amount of screen real estate available to the application, as it does not require a browser tab.
  • Details on using the available options can be found in my article on using the web browser version (link below).
There is absolutely no difference is using Speedlight in a browser on a computer or mobile device (left) or via the dedicated Android app version (r), other than the latter doesn’t run in a browser tab (click for full size, if required)

Feedback

As light clients go, there is no faulting Speedlight. It does, as the saying goes, exactly what it says on the tin. If you’ve not seen it before, I do recommend reading Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices) to get a more thorough overview.

Given the Android app gives an identical experience to running Speedlight through a web browser, whether you opt to actually install the app or not comes down to the choice between the convenience of a simple tap-to-launch (and potentially smaller memory footprint) the app brings, or being happy launching a browser and fiddling with URLs / bookmarks.

As noted above, the app offers the same capabilities as using Speedlight through a browser, and has the same seamless switching between devices (I was happily flicking between the app on my Nexus and browsers on both the device and on a PC without any issues or being logged out in more back and forth when using my test avatar account and playing with the app).

Still only text based for the time being, Speedlight is already a credible SL mobile solution, and I understand we’re now not that far from seeing the first iteration of its 3D world rendering.

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