Second Life's Upcoming Mobile App Improves World Graphics and Now Includes Instant / Direct Messaging to Other In-World SLers!

Pic by TavishBrock on the SL iOS app — click here to teleport to compare and contrast

Linden Lab continues rolling out closed Alpha invites of its upcoming iOS/Android app for Second Life to Premium+ subscribers (see "Mobile Update" here). And by the looks of it, continues improving the app itself. Here's a new update and screenies courtesy longtime SLer TavishBrock Resident of the Rosehaven Estates, who gave us an early hands-on preview last month.

"The newest version seems significantly better than the first alpha," Tavish tells me. "The visual artifacts for missing textures are gone so the world looks much more like it should. Now I feel like I can walk around and have some sense of where I actually am (but a mini-map would really help with that as well)."

User interface looks pretty clean and simple, at least on the top level:

SL mobile iOS UI

"There's missing functionality," notes Tavish, "but it's still early days and I assume that more will be added as things progress. The virtual joystick works fairly well, but I wouldn't say no to keyboard controls (which I assume is way down on the list of things to add, and understandably so)."

I am hoping we get some kind of "wow" UI interactions that make the user experience more magically intuitive than the desktop version, but still waiting on signs of that.

However, there's one big feature to mobile that's live: You can message other online Second Life users through the mobile app! Yes:

SL mobile iOS IM DM

"Direct IMs work now too," Tavish tells me. "You can IM people nearby, or on your friends list. You can also initiate group chat with groups you belong to. You're on the main grid when using the mobile client. The only reason that you can't IM just anyone is that you have no way of doing a people search to find them in order to be able to start an IM session."

This strikes me as pretty huge: Users of the Second Life mobile app are already part of the main Second Life grid. And giving them IM/DM functionality means the app is already very useful for light interaction through the app.

Gogo of Juicy Bomb, by the way, published her own iOS walkthrough with video:

Her pros and cons so far:

  • Chat with friends
  • Explore Places & Destination Guide
    No world map yet
  • No Linden balance
  • No Land tab
  • Difficult to navigate/move around.
    I have not yet mastered walking, that’s why I’m running everywhere
  • Difficult to sit on objects
  • Can’t select anything
  • Can’t change clothes
    Can wear saved outfits (must do so by logging into desktop viewer)
  • Rezzing is slowish, expected I guess?
  • Looks great, way better than that dreadful Speedlight viewer

Vwm_IMAGE_2Read the rest here!

All images courtesy TavishBrock.

And thanks to the Virtual World Museum for helping support New World Notes posts like these!

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