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Linden Labs, Will You Ever Create A Mobile Phone App For Secondlife?

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On 12/17/2019 at 1:21 PM, CoffeeDujour said:

This screenshot is was OnLive. Draxtor review here

OnLive added a tiny amount of viewer UI .. but because they never distributed an actual binary to customers, they were never bound by the GPL to release their source code, so that work is now lost forever, along with their ethically problematic business model. (they rendered SL on their servers, and streamed that video to your device, much like Google are now trying with Stadia)

It failed to gain any traction with users due to price and consisting of the absolute bare minimum code to enable game like touch screen controls. Wandering around the grid solo worked well enough, but actually doing anything via their service was a fiddly nightmare as you had to fall back to using the standard LL viewer controls. In one part of Draxtor's review he tries to text chat and it's painful to watch, Sorting inventory, trying demos, creating, editing .. for all practical purposes, impossible without extreme patience.

Running actual full-fat firestrom (or any client) directly on a mobile device is not going to fly without some serious compromises. Even a crummy desktop PC puts significantly more resources on the table than the very best flagship mobile device. Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with the perception that firestrom is bloated or any of their features, the core SL code that's common to every single viewer and comes from LL is what kills this.

Even if by some miracle someone gets the standard client to run natively on mobile, it's going to be a terrible experience that is objectively bad for your device.

Mobile devices are not designed to run hard and hot. Doing this dramatically shortens the life of a battery that can't be replaced. Running a mobile device 'hard and hot' plugged into the power is not a solution and will turn your device's battery into an airbag in record time ... with a chance to go full angry-charmander. 

 

Well Lumiya was very popular with over 450k downloads before linden lab removed them from 3rd party viewer page, then developer pulling off it off the google app store.

After 6 years of people buying it someone found it useful, maybe the 90% who are not creators, but just chat while logged in.

baby-yoda-memes.jpg

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Be careful what you wish for, a phone app would cost money to develop, not to mention the additional support costs, if they did develop one, they would have to recoup those costs somehow. In all honesty no phone is going to give a great SL experience, I've tried Lumyia and it was consigned to the digital bin, it's hard to navigate, takes forever for scenes to load etc. You really are missing nothing. Yes you could just use it to communicate, but in all honesty anyone from SL I choose to communicate with to that extent has other options, such as my skype or whatsapp.

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39 minutes ago, Frank Ziplon said:

Be careful what you wish for, a phone app would cost money to develop, not to mention the additional support costs, if they did develop one, they would have to recoup those costs somehow.

Maybe retasking the budget away from some other project that’s not really doing so well for the Lab financially would make new developments more feasible?

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Just now, Fauve Aeon said:

Maybe retasking the budget away from some other project that’s not really doing so well for the Lab financially would make new developments more feasible?

Hmmm,  I wonder which project you might mean? No but seriously you are right with that, it does seem like they are just throwing money down the toilet with that project, which could be put to better use, I think there was about 30 people there last time I had a look, but keep in mind, even with that project, the end goal would be to make some kind of profit, so the same would need to apply to a phone app and there would need to be signifant demand for it, before they would even give it consideration.

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35 minutes ago, Frank Ziplon said:

there would need to be signifant demand for it, before they would even give it consideration.

Right...like there was for that other project. 🙃

nah, seriously, I think even a reduced function phone app might give them more dwell/activity than the other project has. Even if it was just for checking messages, making/sending notecards, sorting inventory and group messaging. 

Edited by Fauve Aeon

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1 minute ago, Fauve Aeon said:

Right...like there was for that other project

Fair point, I am guessing they thought there would be though and they didn't accept that it differed too much to our usual Second Life experience and most of us are not happy to just wander around exploring experiences which offer little in terms of interaction. The graphics are superior though, that was about the only thing I was impressed with.

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6 minutes ago, Frank Ziplon said:

Fair point, I am guessing they thought there would be though and they didn't accept that it differed too much to our usual Second Life experience and most of us are not happy to just wander around exploring experiences which offer little in terms of interaction. The graphics are superior though, that was about the only thing I was impressed with.

I think they had a different market in mind and it was premature. I think AR will be a better investment, even for enterprise until VR HMD get down to a not-ridiculous device instead of a huge plastic carapace parked on our faces. I think a ‘new’ mobile version of SL with different features and maybe even different areas than the features and areas accessible via the downloadable viewer (that eternally needs to be backwards-compatible forever and ever, amen) would actually give some breathing room to leap forward with some mobile-only dev without the perpetual worry of breaking the world. But I may be wrong, who knows? 

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3 hours ago, Fauve Aeon said:

I think they had a different market in mind and it was premature. I think AR will be a better investment, even for enterprise until VR HMD get down to a not-ridiculous device instead of a huge plastic carapace parked on our faces. I think a ‘new’ mobile version of SL with different features and maybe even different areas than the features and areas accessible via the downloadable viewer (that eternally needs to be backwards-compatible forever and ever, amen) would actually give some breathing room to leap forward with some mobile-only dev without the perpetual worry of breaking the world. But I may be wrong, who knows? 

Sorry Fauve, I had to get a few hours sleep. Well we shall see what happens. One thing I have to say about LLs is though, they do a bad job with the viewer, which is why, most of us, though not all, I am sure, use a third party viewer, so I can't see them creating a phone app that would be that great. I will follow things with interest though and I may be proved wrong.

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7 hours ago, belindacarson said:

They are working on an iPhone one.

How did you come by this arcane knowledge...or did the rest of us just miss a memo? 

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Well if you paid attention to the vacancies pages you'd know that a few months ago they advertised for a mobile developer to work on one.

 

Also it came up at a tpv group meeting where Oz and Keira Linden both said it's in development, and tbehtdt concentrating on the iPhone first as there are already several Android viewers.

 

That enough "arcane knowledge" for you, hmmm?

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3 minutes ago, belindacarson said:

Well if you paid attention to the vacancies pages you'd know that a few months ago they advertised for a mobile developer to work on one.

 

Also it came up at a tpv group meeting where Oz and Keira Linden both said it's in development, and tbehtdt concentrating on the iPhone first as there are already several Android viewers.

 

That enough "arcane knowledge" for you, hmmm?

Thank you very much. I haven’t ever really paid attention to LL job vacancies page and I don’t attend tpv meetings or read the recaps. 

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1 hour ago, Fauve Aeon said:

Thank you very much. I haven’t ever really paid attention to LL job vacancies page and I don’t attend tpv meetings or read the recaps. 

They are working on releasing one for iOS first and android to follow. To begin with it will only be basic chat functions with more features to follow. ETA : Next Mayan Baktun 

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On 1/13/2020 at 2:03 PM, Fauve Aeon said:

Thank you very much. I haven’t ever really paid attention to LL job vacancies page and I don’t attend tpv meetings or read the recaps. 

Maybe you should then instead of posting silly ignorant comments then, no?

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48 minutes ago, belindacarson said:

Maybe you should then instead of posting silly ignorant comments then, no?

it would be a lot more helpfull when LL would make a weekly newsletter and keep people informed instead of inworld hours that half the world never can attend if they don't want to wake up at midnight, or later. In lot of cases they try to look like a worldwide business ( mainly in getting money) but as organisation it's still acting as the 5 headed group that started17 year ago in a garage.

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Someone tell the Lindens that they should switch to developing for Android first because ios is lousy. Once they get a full mobile app with graphics up and running they can go back to working with that other phone system. 

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1 hour ago, Bree Giffen said:

Someone tell the Lindens that they should switch to developing for Android first because ios is lousy. Once they get a full mobile app with graphics up and running they can go back to working with that other phone system. 

It depends. If they plan to charge money for it, the iOS is the better bet because all statistics I ever see show that iOS users spend a lot more money buying apps than Android users.

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:41 PM, Alyona Su said:

It depends. If they plan to charge money for it, the iOS is the better bet because all statistics I ever see show that iOS users spend a lot more money buying apps than Android users.

I would buy it to organize my inventory and clothing and have a better marketplace experience. I could use in world time more socially. 

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If IMVU (and i kinda threw up in my mouth saying their name) managed to get a mostly functional 3D app for their client, i see no reason why SL couldnt manage to

 

I know, i know, IMVU-s locations are more of a confined places with less sandbox and freedom elements but ffs, we are in 2020, im sure most new-gen phones are more than capable of handling such.

Edited by DarkRavenWolfie

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2 hours ago, DarkRavenWolfie said:

...but ffs, we are in 2020, im sure most new-gen phones are more than capable of handling such.

No. They really aren't.

A mobile processor and gpu can't hold a candle to even a basic desktop/laptop. A single SL avatar can easily have more complexity than an entire mobile game scene.

A full fat SL 3D experience (as in one using multiple avatars) is never going to run acceptably. To make matters worse, running a mobile device hard and hot will have a significant impact on immediate and long term battery life. Plugging it in will make it worse as the battery in most devices acts as a buffer, so cooking it and charging it at the same time, right next to a CPU at full tilt for hours on end is going to be way out of spec (this is why Apple's store rules prohibit apps that excessively push the device or battery).

 

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6 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

(this is why Apple's store rules prohibit apps that excessively push the device or battery).

 

So, if SL is developing any kind of app that visually renders SL , then this might be one of the roads to instilling and influencing a (still optional but more) motivation-led path to encourage residents to adopt more optimized content? Introducing support on new platform actually is an ok time to call for new criteria and requirements to be able to run something correctly. Some areas and avatars ‘optimized for SL mobile’?
 

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8 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

A single SL avatar can easily have more complexity than an entire mobile game scene.

Just thinking outside the box in case it sparks better ideas....

What if a mobile app didn't render avatars or moving objects? I acknowledge that I'm biased because I'd love to be able to swing by a couple of MM boards on the tablet and don't need to see my av to do that. It would greatly reduce render load and also some of the sexual-content issues.

Would something like that be feasible? Maybe with impostered objects?

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5 hours ago, Fauve Aeon said:

So, if SL is developing any kind of app that visually renders SL , then this might be one of the roads to instilling and influencing a (still optional but more) motivation-led path to encourage residents to adopt more optimized content? Introducing support on new platform actually is an ok time to call for new criteria and requirements to be able to run something correctly. Some areas and avatars ‘optimized for SL mobile’?
 

Content optimization is only half the story when it comes to performance, it gets a lot of attention here as it's the only factor we have any control over. The complete issue is far more systemic and can't be changed. You could put the same OTT content from SL in an actual game engine and it will render a lot faster, but game engines can't do what SL do.

Again .. this is why LL wandered off and made Sansar, it's very different from how SL works because of all the lessons learnt from our side of the fence. I would go as far as to say we're more likely to see a functional mobile port of that platform long before SL just because of the design differences.

3 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Just thinking outside the box in case it sparks better ideas....

What if a mobile app didn't render avatars or moving objects? I acknowledge that I'm biased because I'd love to be able to swing by a couple of MM boards on the tablet and don't need to see my av to do that. It would greatly reduce render load and also some of the sexual-content issues.

Would something like that be feasible? Maybe with impostered objects?

It wouldn't really make much difference as the initial content would have to be fetched, processed and rendered. Impostors in SL are created on the client, so they would still be slower than just not rendering people at all.

The stuff that needs to change to make SL run well enough for mobile (or well enough for desktop!) is all stuff that's pretty fundamental to how SL works.

The best we can hope for at this point is perhaps some kind of  rendered avatar dress up, just your avatar and nothing else. But even then it presents a number of daunting challenges translating SL's file/folder inventory system into something practical. Wouldn't be surprised that if we did get anything like this, it would only allow switching of previously saved outfits.

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