Today, in a much anticipated announcement, Linden Lab launched the Beta version of their new Second Life viewer. It will undoubtedly completely revolutionize the way we view and use Second Life, not to mention the first user experience. There a heaps of changes and new features (small and large) included in this version and lots of additional features and changes in the works.
To get started you need to download the new Viewer 2 (Beta).
New Interface Introduction
The first thing you are going to notice is how it looks cosmetically. The look of this new viewer is so smooth and clean. A major upgrade. Next you will notice a completely different user interface (UI). This new UI is so much more intuitive than an other viewer before it. It is made of up what Linden is calling the top bar, the bottom bar and the side bar.
Most of these features are the same, or at least familiar, but have been relocated so that they can now be found more easily.
The new UI looks and functions very much like a browser. It includes a browser-like navigation bar with forward and back buttons (history) and easily accepts SLURLs.
My favorite new features that are now easily available on the UI are the teleport history which can be accessed several ways, and the ability to bookmark a location (landmark) with one click. You can then even customize that landmark and add information about the location to the landmarks.
Appearance and Outfits
Another one of my favorite new features is something that designers have been asking for since as long as I have been in SL. Under Appearance, users and designers now have two more sections. One gives you the ability to add a tattoo layer. The other allows you to make parts of your avatar invisible.
Perhaps the best new feature for the resident fashionistas of SL who love to mix and match their clothing wardrobes is the ability to create new outfits using links for no copy items. Links do not break any permissions, they are simply shortcuts that point to an original no copy item. This has long been a problem of mine and I’m so glad to see it included in this new viewer! Also helpful is the addition of the Wearing tab which shows the items you are currently wearing. Many of us have been used to this from other third party viewers, but its great to see it added here as well.
Many people are already using it to play games, watch YouTube movies, collaborate on Goggle Docs, check email, display web pages, and the list goes on it. The applications of SLSM are only just being explored and will most definitely will change the way we use SL for education, collaboration, social media, augmented reality, etc. This video gives more details about SLSM including how to set it up yourself:
There are so many new and updated features I could never cover them all in one post (at least not one you would read). Luckily Torley has posted several video tutorials to help you learn about them all. These features include:
- New Interface
- Context Menu Replaces Pie Menu
- Move and View Controls
- Appearance and Outfits
- Sidebar (including the new web integrated Home tab)
- Search (now powered by Google Search Appliance technology)
- Notifications and Conversations
- Giving Inventory
- Automatic Camera Zoom
In addition to all of today’s new debuts, we know there are a lot more new features in the works! In the near future Linden Lab has said that they will still be unveiling some more game changing features like Mesh Support, the addition of C# as a scripting language, additional tools to better integrate social media, and more! In fact, Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon appeared on building43 this morning to discuss the launch, what the company has been up to, and where it’s going.
As you can tell its been a BIG day for Linden Lab, Second Life, and all of us! I would love to know some of your thoughts on the new viewer and today’s big news. What do you love or hate?