On Tuesday 26th October 2021 Linden Lab officially confirmed to my private message on Twitter that they have definitely paused the development for iOS and Android apps for Second Life. The team are actively working on a new direction and some news on that will be announced in the near future. The lab mentioned that they don’t have anything to share right now.
Thanks to Linden Lab for the fast response. Here is the official confirmation they sent to me via Twitter PM.
@danielvoyager Greetings! We have pause development on just that branch, but the team is actively working on a new direction to take from here. We don’t have anything to share right now, but we should have some news on that soon.”
I blogged about the first reports about the development pause on 23rd October but there was no confirmation at the time from the lab until now. The lab sent out emails during the past few weeks to the test group announcing the development pause/closure of the mobile test regions etc.
I think many will be wondering now what will Linden Lab go next with any future development of the iOS/Android Second Life apps. I would imagine we may hear something during 2022 or perhaps in 2023.
From looking at this generally it does appear to be written from Linden Lab and many will be most likely be disappointed by this development pause. It does appear the team is actively working on a new direction from here. I would imagine we will hear from the lab shortly about this latest development and hopefully what they plan on doing next.
From source insider…
After reviewing the current state of the SL Mobile Viewer and the helpful feedback from residents, we have decided to pause development on this branch. The team is actively working on a new direction to take from here. We should have some news on that soon.
We’d like to thank you all for your time and feedback. It was very valuable to us! We will be closing TestFlight and the mobile regions on October 29th, 2021. Again, thank you for participation! Linden Lab
At the bottom of the message sent to NWN the lab are closing down TestFlight and the mobile regions on Friday 29th October 2021. The source said that development has been “stagnant for months” and says the following…
“Didn’t have push notifications, and until a recent update would only work when you had the app open on your screen,“
“You logged into a special mobile users only region and would remain there while the app was running, you couldn’t be teleported, seen on the map, had no attachments etc. IM messages worked well .. and that was all we ever got.“
I think Lumiya and SpeedLight Viewer is the benchmark for any Second Life mobile app they have to aim for. I accept development takes time and issues can happen along the way.
I would imagine any launch now of any SL Mobile app won’t happen until later in 2022 or 2023 at the earliest. At the monthly web user office hours in recent months there has not been any major announcements or really much to be excited about it seems.
In recent months Linden Lab have been pretty quiet on the Second Life mobile development for anything to do with the iOS and Android versions of it. There are Second Life web user group meetings which are normally held on the first Wednesday of the month from 2pm SLT to 3pm SLT located at Denby.
The Web User Group meeting is a public monthly meeting used for discussion of issues around the Marketplace, Profiles, Place Pages, Search and Mobile related updates.
Upcoming Web User Group Meetings
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021
Wednesday, September 1st, 2021
Wednesday, October 6th, 2021
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
Linden Lab are focused on the non-graphical aspects for a Second Life mobile viewer like IM, group chat, friendship management and more. I believe there is still NDA for those that are working/testing the iOS and Android versions at the moment.
Keira Linden has mentioned in the Second Life Forums mobile section last year that once there is a beta version of it available then it will be open to everyone to try it out. It’s expected the lab will make an announcement in the weeks/months ahead hopefully. There is potential here for the lab to make this a huge success and another way of bringing in revenue maybe.
Back on Monday 22nd June 2020 Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab talked about future plans for the Second Life Mobile Companion app for iOS and Android devices. Almost a year later development is slowly getting there.
The iOS version of the Second Life mobile client has been rejected by Apple a few times or so now over the past six months. Apple seems to be making life hard for Linden Lab in terms of passing the app through its evaluation process.
Second Life Mobile News – April 2021 Update
The app is now very close to being ready to go (internal tests are being carried out)
Waiting for Apple to pass the app via their evaluation process
Launch could happen before the end of the summer 2021 (my prediction)
Development is way behind that of the iOS version
Internal testing is still on-going
Launch could happen later this year/early 2022 (my prediction)
Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until the lab announces more about Second Life mobile launch in the weeks or months ahead.
Back in early May 2019 I blogged about the Lumiya Viewer being no longer listed on the Google Play Store. Apparently it was removed from Google Play due to a change in the developer terms (change in SMS policy from Google). Lumiya was removed off the Third Party Viewer Directory page for a variety of reasons.
The Lumiya website was last updated in early October 2017 and the latest viewer version was 3.4.2. There has been no word from Alina Lyvette for some time now and it seems unlikely that the Lumiya app will be updated again anytime soon. Myself and many others have tried to get in touch with Alina but so far there have been no responses.
The Lumiya Viewer is still available through Slide.Me (risk) and other websites which may be risky. The last version still offers communications and other viewer functions. However from what I have heard the world rendering and avatar appearance etc are broken.
I hope someday we will hear from Alina Lyvette. For now it’s worth waiting for announcements on the iOS and Android version of the new Second Life mobile app that Linden Lab are working on now.
According to this week’s Web User Group (WUG) meeting held on Wednesday 7th October 2020 it appears that Apple rejected the first submission iOS version of the Second Life mobile client. For some reason it did not meet the requirements.
Linden Lab are now working to address the issues as part of Apple’s review process and when that is done then the iOS version will go through Linden Lab QA process. After that then the IOS version can be re-submitted to Apple for approval for a 2nd time.
Once the iOS version of the Second Life mobile client is on the App Store listings then it will go from the closed alpha phrase to the beta phrase most likely. The Android version is still behind the iOS version and is still being developed. I would imagine early 2021 we would see the Android version approved. Maybe late November or December for the iOS version if Apple gives the green light. Who knows!.
What to expect from the first release of the iOS Communications App
It’s important to understand that the first release of the iOS version of the Second Life mobile client will not have full capabilities like world rendering, purchases and more. Over time the app will have inventory management, group chat and more features. The app will be used for those that want to stay connected on the go rather than using it at home.
This is a delay for sure but hopefully everything can be resolved before the end of 2020. That depends on Apple of course.
For me it was one of the best mobile viewers out there for Second Life and OpenSim grids. As many know early last year the Lumiya Viewer was removed from the official Third Party Viewer Directory. Apparently the Lumiya Viewer is still working if you have it installed already.
Lumiya Viewer has been available since August 2017 and the app has been downloaded more than 100, 000 times. Alina Lyvette does have two other apps which are still available today to download – Lumiya Cloud Plugin and Lumiya Voice Plugin. Both of these apps have not been updated for some time.
Within the past 24 hours there has been some discussion about this via reddit.
I hope the Lumiya Viewer app comes back on the Google Play Store soon. If not then at least a download link on the official Lumiya Viewer website would be good.
UPDATE 1 – 2nd May
Lumiya Viewer is still up on the Aptoide Android market where you can download it.
Check out the latest new interview with Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab talking about the future of Second Life and Sansar. Wagner James Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg for 45 minutes at Linden Lab HQ in San Francisco in March 2019.
They chatted about efforts to grow new user growth, land discounts, the upcoming mobile companion app, cloud deployment, improving performance and much more relating to Second Life. With Sansar they chatted about the low usage numbers since the beta launch, Sansar’s long download times and efforts to optimize Sansar.
It’s incredible to think Ebbe Altberg has now been with Linden Lab for over five years and he has achieved a great amount over the years from reducing land costs, the roll out of Mesh, Bento, Animesh, improved the communications with the community, improved the experience for premium members and much more.
Some highlights that I found most interesting,,,
The new IOS mobile companion app is being worked on. It’s going to be focused on being connected with friends, chat, shopping, customer service and more. The lab are not considering it to be a viewer in the short term.
New pricing options/discounts are coming soon (within next few months)
Lot’s of new features (EEP) for Second Life (within weeks)
Second Life is targeted to move completely to the Amazon cloud within the next 12 months (early – mid 2020)
The premium subscriber base is growing
The lab are focused on continuing revenue & user growth for Second Life.
The lab are now interested in growing the concurrency levels and retention rates
There are no plans to force migrate Second Life users to Sansar
There are more people working on Second Life (130+) than Sansar (70+)
There is work to continue to reduce Sansar long download times
Sansar is still in beta and still in pre-launch mode
The lab are shipping big updates every month
For more specific highlights from this interview see here.
Apparently Linden Lab is working on an iOS app solution for accessing Second Life and hopefully there will be a Android version of it. Hopefully there will be a prototype app released sometime this year if all goes to plan. Sansar may at some point go on mobile in the near future.
Below are iOS and Android apps which can be used to access Second Life and OpenSim as of 30th January 2019.
It’s been confirmed this week that Linden Lab are in the early stages in working towards an iOS companion app for Second Life. The lab are focused on getting a prototype out to the Second Life community at some point in the near future. The app will not be linked to a streaming service.
Inara Pey contacted Linden Lab recently with a number of questions concerning the Bit Bucket code repository that was set up by Brad Linden. The lab responded saying the following…
As you point out, we discussed at our Town Hall events last year that we’re actively looking at ways to extend the reach of Second Life to new audiences including mobile platforms. For example, we’re in the early stages of work on an iOS companion app for Second Life.
Right now we’re focused on getting a prototype out to our Residents, at which point we’ll be looking for feedback and suggestions. In the early stages, we will not be tying the app to a streaming service. However, we don’t have anything to formally announce yet about the specific features, capabilities, and availability.
It’s important to mention that Linden Lab have not formally announced anything yet. It’s early days but it’s good news to hear the lab are working on an iOS mobile app and hopefully they will make one for Android users.
Are you excited about having Second Life on mobile ?
On 27th September Lumiya Viewer 3.1.1 was released including a number of improvements, new features and bug fixes. The Lumiya Viewer is a Second Life / OpenSim client for Android created by Alina Lyvette. The Lumiya Viewer app costs £2.69 on the Google Play Store and now it’s 8.8M in size.
The biggest improvements in 3.1.1 is the support for OpenGL ES 3.0 which now allows for major frame rate improvements in 3D mode. Rendering mesh bodies, mesh hair and mesh in general has improved alot in this latest update. There are some really handy new features in this new release including the ability to create and share snapshots. The ability to edit avatar profiles and setting home locations.
What’s New in Version 3.1.1
Improved 3D performance on OpenGL ES 3.0-capable devices