09-08-2012 09:27 AM
I recently got a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone as an upgrade to my Galaxy S. Both devices support 3D rendering, and there are many 3D games and clients available on the Android Market (such as a lite version of MineCraft). The S3 especially (with its 1GB of RAM and quad-core CPU) should support some high quality 3D at acceptable frame rates.
Yet I can't find any client providing access to enough of SL's features to consider it usable. Yes, there are some which allow you to login and use the chat (even see the map), but none that let you see the 3D scene, yourself and other avatars, and support moving around. Not to mention in-world building, access to inventory, and wearables / avatar customization.
Only free one I found on the market is Mobile Grid Client, which like I said allows the user to see the chat and the world map only. There is however one which renders the world (and seems to work a lot like the PC client) called Lumiya Viewer (web page here). But not so surprisingly, there's only a paid version available, and I prefer free and open-source software for everything.
There are pretty much two options. First is someone writing an Android SL client from a scratch, which would be very difficult and take a lot of time to do (given all the features and systems SL has). The second and best option would be compiling the normal SL client for the Android platform and hardware. This is possible and many projects with simple ghaphics have done it. Best example is Rockstar Games having released an Android version of GTA3 two years ago, which I installed and it worked perfectly on my Galaxy S (on the S3 it should be even better). With simple changes for a touchscreen interface, compatible rendering and other functions, this should be possible to do with the normal Second Life client too.
Are there any plans to do such a thing, or even downloadable clients which can be used at this date?
09-08-2012 09:59 PM
I haven't tried MGC, But I did try lumia. it's far from perfect as you said, but I haven't seen anything else. I would love to be able to go inworld from my Epic 4g touch. It should definately be doable. it's just getting someone to do it.
09-09-2012 08:41 AM
I am told the re-engineering the standard Second Life client for Android would be a major piece of work, as it would mean switching from the standard Intel based software to ARM-based and Second Life uses a lot of specific graphics features that would need working on.
The only other one available is, as you have sumised, Lumiya which has a basic (but a lot better than nothing) world view as an option.
If you don't want to pay for Lumiya there is another alternative, write one yourself - then maybe you'd understand why the Lumiya developer wanted to reclaim a bit of the time and effort that was spent producing it.
09-09-2012 09:03 AM - edited 09-09-2012 09:04 AM
I tried GTA 3 on my S3 as well today, sice it seemed relevant to this performance-wise. Works perfectly well... even faster than on the computer I had the day I first got GTA3 Also tried it out with the hacked settings file to enable effects (lights, flares, particles and such) and still get a perfect FPS. Here's a video I found of someone else trying it out on the S3:
Since SL doesn't neet any fancier graphics to run, I'm pretty sure anything as strong as Galaxy S1 could run it perfectly at low draw distance and with reduced object detail (likely most smartphone models can, but I don't know the resources of others). On mine I estimate I could set draw distance as far as 128 at least, and geometrical detail to medium.
For what Hitomi mentioned, that is useful to know. The renderer would probably need some remaking, and I don't know if Android can run original OpenGL code and the like. Only thing I know for sure is that it needs to be compiled to run on a different kind of processor, but that by itself simply means opening the source code and compiling for another platform. For each application this means changing different functions to be compatible more or less, or using alternatives for other libraries. No idea how much that is in the case of SL viewer.
BTW. There's also a neat little 2D open-source game called Hedgewars. It's available for Windows, Linux, and also Android. I have it on both my computer and phone, and all versions are exactly the same with the exception that the Android one has a touchscreen interface. Pretty sure they're both compiled from the same source code, but I haven't asked so I might be wrong.
09-09-2012 03:13 PM
I think you are very optimisitic about the speed of a Second Life client running on Android if it was ported. I run Lumiya (which is a cut-down subset of features and rendering) on my quad core Nexus 7 using wi-fi and it is still slow even at minimum draw distance. This will improve over the next few years and then direct streaming over 4G might be a better option getting around most of the problems.
09-13-2012 10:13 PM
I've used the Mobile Client Grid for some time. It's great for just text chatting. The bad thing is the reoccurring costs. The standard subscription is 250$L per month. The pro/full version is 400$L per month. The full version allows you to interact with inventory to do things like read note cards, send objects, etc.
The Lumiya app is interesting. I just downloaded it and figured I'd play around with it for awhile.
09-14-2012 03:23 AM
To me, Lumiya is most interesting for how much of the UI must be reengineered from the ground up in order to work sensibly with a touch interface on a physically small surface. It hints at one of the great UI tensions of our times: how similar should be (or can be) the UI designs for the same applications, delivered on different devices with different form factors, modes of interaction (direct touch, stylus vs cursor-driving mouse, trackpad), and occasions of use (mobile on-the-go vs desktop vs large-screen "lean back"). The design issues go way deeper than how to represent information, affecting what functionality to expose, in what order, and ideally even the behavior of the underlying application itself.
Getting enough of that passably correct, I think, is a longer-term challenge than the technical issues of graphics programming, bandwidth, and performance.
12-23-2012 06:29 AM
12-29-2012 11:06 AM
'switching from the standard Intel based software'
I'm sorry, I know its very pedantic but it's not intel based its x86/64 based. It works just as well on AMD's processor architecture as well as Intel's. Furthermore, it is possible to emulate x86/64 specific commands on an ARM processor, however, this shouldn't even be an issue as cross compatability is easy, just look at Windows 8 (Works on ARM and x86/64)