The latest version of the Lumiya Second Life viewer for Android phones and tablets comes with a pretty cool feature: 3D display of the world itself. (Lumiya homepage here.) Unless I missed another one, this is now the only SL app for mobile which not only shows text-based features like chat and user inventory (others on the market can do that too), but also displays SL. According to app creator Alina Lyvette, it's not (yet) a replacement for SL displayed on laptops or desktops, but displays pretty well all the same:
"Let's say I'm having around steady 10 frames per second on my tablet even with a lot of objects," Alina tells me. "It stutters a little when objects appear in draw range (mostly due to slow texture decoding), and the texture loading itself isn't fast, either (like, say, two or three times slower than typical desktop). To me, it feels... 'acceptable', but far from perfect. It could be better, and I hope to make it better in due course." She's running her app on an Acer Iconia A500, but reports good results from folks who've bought the app and have run it on other hardware:
"[One Lumiya owner] reported like 'no latency at all' on his Nexus One - that is, Snapdragon clocked at 1 GHz. Someone with Samsung Galaxy S2 also reported like 'very fast' - though, S2s come in different flavors, from Snapdragon to custom Samsung Exynos chipset," she tells me. "So, let's say, Lumiya looks like 'acceptable' on anything fairly modern with CPUs in 1Ghz range, and, as I said, it is more CPU-dependent than GPU. It's not 'blazing fast' even on Tegra with its immense processing power. However, there's a lot of potential for improvement, and, eventually, we might reach closer to desktop frame rates with some clever optimizations, but it's a long road up there, and there are a lot of other features that are really needed (think like inventory support, minimap and so on), so I guess I'll take a little break from 3D stuff after this release and concentrate on implementing those really needed things."
In any case, the intent with the 3D functionality, she adds, is "more about getting rid of that feeling of being blind and stuck than about real play. It still needs a lot of functions to be a real replacement for desktop viewer (say, a real avatar rendering, ability to change clothing, sit on objects, animate, that's only to name a few). Still, even considering the fact that I spent 90% of my time in SL just chatting, a simple ability to look around and move a bit gives that much wanted feeling of presence. It's more like of psychological impact, at least, for me."
Go here to get the latest version of Lumiya on Google Play. I'm not an Android owner myself, so if you are and give Lumiya a whirl, please share your results in Comments.
Hat tip: Latif Khalifa on SL Universe.