Second Life Mobile mini update, August 2020 with audio

As I’ve previously reported several times over the last year, starting with Linden Lab confirm Second Life iOS client in the making, Linden Lab is developing a companion app for Second Life.

Since that first article, I’ve provided a number of updates on the development work – please use the SL Mobile tag to catch up with all of them.

At the Web User Group on Wednesday, August 5th, Keira Linden gave a further update on the client’s status, as per the notes and audio below, which have been provided alongside my usual notes on the app.

August 5th Update

iOS Client

  • The iOS version has been in a closed alpha that includes a number of residents for some 2+ months, having started in May.
    • In keeping with the Lab’s plans, this version offers the ability to communicate via IM and view your Friends list.
  • As a result of this close alpha testing, the Lab now has a build that is “destined for [Apple’s] App Store”, which is currently “bouncing back and fort”h between the development team and LL’s QA team.
  • The hope is that this version can be submitted to Apple for review some time in August 2020.
  • This does not necessarily mean the iOS client will immediately appear within the App Store, as Apple can be exceptionally picky in their review process, which can result in requests for changes to an app to be made before listing is allowed.
  • LL obviously hopes the app will not encounter significant issues, but because of the review process, no time frame can be given on when the app will appear in the App Store – but there will presumably be an announcement once it is available.

Android Client

  • Having started much later than the iOS version, which remains the Lab’s focus, the Android version is still at a somewhat earlier stage of development.
  • However, it is under active development.
  • When it is ready, it will likely follow a similar Alpha / Beta test process to the iOS version.

In-world Presence

  • In a change to earlier statements, Mobile app users will have an in-world location.
  • This will be in one of several special “Mobile” regions. However:
    • As Mobile users have no 3D world view, these regions are not landscaped or populated in any way.
    • Access is restricted to those using the Mobile app, general access by users on the viewer or other clients is not allowed.
    • Currently, three Mobile regions have been set-up.

General Capabilities

Note: this is a reiteration of notes from earlier updates on the SL Mobile client.

  • It should initially be regarded as more of a communicator / companion app than a fully-rounded client. The initial intention for the client is to provide users with a means of maintaining basic contact with other users whilst away from their main means of accessing Second Life.
  • As such, it will support logging-in to Second Life services to support IM and group chat support.
  • Capabilities such as having an in-world rezzing location, the ability to chat locally, support for scene rendering will be added over time.
  • However, in terms of any in-world rendering, this will not be part of any initial released (in the meeting it was described as “not even Soon™”), as LL are focused in just trying to get the basic app available to users as soon as reasonably possible.

Reporting and Updates in this Blog

Again, all information I’m able to provide through this blog, including future updates can be found under the SL Mobile tag, and can be accessed directly from the top menu options:

  • SL → User Group & Viewer → Viewers → Android & iOS and then selecting either:
    • Android Clients → SL Mobile or
    • iOS Clients → SL Mobile.

10 thoughts on “Second Life Mobile mini update, August 2020 with audio

  1. Will there be an hourly usage charge now or down the road—for example, to cover streaming of server-side world rendering to provide a low-device-cpu-impact, 3d-experience via our smartphones? Thank you for your post!

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    1. The app will not initially feature any world rendering, although that may be added a some point in the future. How that may be developed and / or charged for has yet to be openly discussed.

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  2. It’s logical that IOS comes first since Apple users can’t use Lumiya. That say, the Linden Lab mobil app sounds very limited. “Mobile users have no 3D world view”… while Lumiya provide 3D world and even the possibility to move, use furniture, rezz, change outfit, etc. It’s not perfect, but it’s possible. So what will be the interest for Android user to load and use
    the future LL App and get parked in a blind place with only IMs available ?

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    1. Apple users have MetaChat, although that also has no 3D rendering, but does potentially illustrate how hard it is to get over the various Apple hurdles (every update effectively has the be approved, which can lead to even the smallest changes earning a rejection).

      Lumiya actually gained a lot of traction before its 3D world viewer started to be developed – although admittedly, there was nothing comparable to it even as a “text” client back then in terms of capabilities, and once Alina started developing the 3D rendering capability, she was able to expand it pretty rapidly, making Lumiya the game-changer for mobile apps. At the moment, that baton has passed to Speedlight, which provides access to SL from any browser (plus a dedicated Android app and an upcoming IOS app). Some of the more recent worlds renderer update are only available subscribers (as is the case with the iOS app), which can put people off, but the 3D viewer offers a roughly comparable level of capability to Lumiya when it was at a similar point in its early development cycle. As such, it’ll be interesting to see if aspects such as avatar rendering in Sppedlight mature and improve over time as they did with Lumiya.

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  3. My feelings the same as Lance. Why is LL reinventing the wheel, why not start with Lumiya code which is already way beyond what LL is promising for the future? It would be peanuts for LL to buy rights to use the code I would guess. By the way for those who don’t know Lumiya it’s no longer on Google Play but you can find a download by a simple search. Does anyone know is there a Lumiya user group or something?

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    1. “It would be peanuts for LL to buy rights to use the code” – assuming a) the developer of Lumiya could be reached – she has been out-of-contact with friends (of whom I am one) for the past 2+ years, which has been of concern in and of itself), and b) were she contactable, she would be willing to sell the rights to the code, rather than continuing to develop it herself were she in a position to do so.

      As to Lumiya being absent Google Play, I’ve covered this in Lumiya client: availability (updated May 3rd) in 2019. As to an in-world group for Lumiya, search for Lumiya Support in your viewer.

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      1. Thank you very much Inara for your detailed and very informative reply. That is so sad about the developer, obviously a brilliant software designer and I am sure a lovely person. I hope everything is ok with her rl.

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