Friday, August 24, 2018

Linden Lab Job Listing Sparks Questions of Possible Android/iPhone Device Viewer

On Linden Lab's list of job openings, one that appeared recently is getting some attention, one for a "Senior Mobile Engineer" for Second Life.

Linden Lab is looking for an innovative mobile app engineer to deliver a compelling, responsive mobile interface into Second Life. If you’re passionate about the latest cross platform mobile technologies and would be psyched to wake up every morning knowing that your efforts will enhance the largest, most successful virtual world on the Internet then we want to hear from you!

Among the knowledge and skills needed for the position is "Experience developing consumer-oriented mobile applications for Android and IOS." This would suggest that Linden Lab is getting back into making a viewer for mobile devices, possibly for Android phones and iPhones, but at least for Android-run tablets and iPads.

In March 2014, Linden Lab partnered with OnLive to produce SL Go for tablets. But after OnLive was bought by Sony a year later, this partnership and SL Go came to an end. Months later, Bright Canopy made it possible to play Second Life through a tablet again. But they haven't been without problems, such as a month-long service outage. What appears to be in development is a mobile viewer entirely in Linden Lab's hands and independent of anyone else whom could be bought up, go out of business, or otherwise run into problems.

Inara Pey reminded her readers that Ebbe Linden talked about the issue during the SL15B, saying the Lab was "seeking the right approach for investment in a mobile solution ... we're thinking hard about mobile." Oz and Grumpity Linden did as well, saying "The potential for some kind of mobile solution for Second Life is being discussed." Grumpity had also mentioned the cost to users was a concern, saying the Lab didn't want a moble viewer that would require charging it's viewers a lot. When New World Notes brought up the issue, Will Burns responded in the comments that he had asked Ebbe Linden in his visit to Linden Lab why they didn't buy up OnLive themselves, and stated the answer was that "At the time ... Linden Lab didn't get hands-on with the process. ...  it would seem at least *something* I said up there sunk in during my visit." New World Notes would also speculate, " If they're only hiring a Senior Mobile Engineer now, it's probably going to be at least 8-12 months before we see an Alpha version of a mobile viewer for SL."

There is an upcoming "Town Hall" event with Ebbe Altberg on Thursday September 13. So there might be some answers to this issue (and others) then.

Sources: Linden Lab, Modem World, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

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