Speedlight: recent updates and iOS development

via Speedlight

Speedlight, the browser based / Android Second Life client, gained a further series of updates at the end of May and the beginning of June, together with an important announcement about the client’s future direction.

Key within the updates were the following:

  • The Android app now supports sending error feedback to the Speedlight team to help with bug fixing.
  • Web links are now displayed in IMs, local and group chats, together with a warning that following them will take a user away from the Speedlight site.
Links contain in IMs, chat and group chat are now clickable. Those that connect to external web pages will display a warning when clicked.
  • Further performance improvements.
  • Full-function 3D capabilities are now available to basic and well as Gold subscribers. So, Basic account holders can now move their avatar around.

The feedback capability means that the Speedlight developers are currently focused in bug fixing, although the team also note they are working on group management capabilities – viewing groups, sending notices and moderating group chat, and state these capabilities will be release soon™.

iOS Version Coming

While Speedlight is entirely operating system agnostic in its browser version, allowing it to be used on Windows, OS X, Linux, Android and iOS through a suitable browser, the team has already released a dedicated Android version, as I noted in Speedlight: using the Android app, back in February 2020.

On May 27th, 2020, the Speedlight team have started working on a dedicated iOS version of the client as well, with an expectation that it will follow the same development path as the Android app, and – if all goes according to plan – should initially be made available in around 2-3 weeks.

Observations

The two key points of the recent announcements are likely to be the 3D avatar capabilities now being available to all Speedlight users, Basic or Gold, and the iOS app development, and the upcoming iOS app version.

The former could help make Speedlight a more attractive alternative to users who would like a “light” / mobile client (remembering that with Android, the device must be running version 7.0 or higher, whether using the dedicated app or running Speedlight through an Android browser), but who were not keen on paying a fee to be able to do so.

This does, however, also beg the question as to what the Speedlight team plan to do in order to maintain the attraction of Gold subscription. Currently, there is the mass IM capability, but his is liable to have limited appeal for most SL users, some one can only assume other features will be made available on a Gold subscription basis, although obviously, time will tell on this.

Given that Speedlight is already on the road to developing world rendering with interactive capabilities, the news that they are working on an iOS app version of the client may also be welcomed by users, particularly given that many feel such a capability is is “essential” to a mobile client, and Linden Lab has indicated that it will be some time before their in-development iOS / Android client will have such a functionality.

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