I suspect most of us ignore the Basic Mode in the SL Viewer. However, the Lab isn’t. They are studying and figuring out how to change the viewer to make entering #SL easier for new users. A recent change…
The Basic Mode Viewer in its latest incarnation has voice. It is disabled by default. There is a microphone button that is clicked to popup a menu allowing one to enable it and select input and output devices. It replaces the Speak button we have in Advanced mode.
The Destinations Guide at the bottom now shows the number of destinations in category. Once a category is selected the number people in a region is displayed.
For whatever reason my mouse steering reverses left/right in Basic Mode.
Other Viewer Changes
More changes are coming to the viewer. Basic Mode is to eventually get an inventory, which will be a big plus for merchants.
In general the viewer is going to become more customizable. The Lab is in planning stages deciding how to proceed with user interface development. We don’t have insight into those planning secessions. But, we do know that the Lab is creating a more modular viewer. At some point we may see the plug-in idea make it into viewers.
Current Viewer Changes
SL Viewer development is proceeding, but is mostly bug fixes for now. Also, part of the Viewer Team is on loan to the Mesh Team. More effort is being thrown at Mesh to get it merged in with the main branch of Second Life. So, while there are just as many people working on the viewer the focus has temporarily changed. New features not mesh related are a lower priority than mesh.