Other than the Apple iPhone 3G, the launch of Google Lively is indeed one of the hottest news this week. So just three days after the launch of the beta version, how is it doing ? Here are some good and bad things I found so far.
- I managed to download the Lively plug-in, installed it, set up my avatar, designed my first “room” and got hanging around the room within an hour. It’s better than my Secondlife experience on this.
- The plug-in runs pretty fast in Firefox 3.0 and Internet Explorer 7, and feels faster than Secondlife.
- I can set up “gadgets” easily to feed my own photos and a video feed from Youtube.
- You can embed the room into your own website, blog or Facebook account (yet to be tested, but the application is here).
- The chat messages and avatar expressions appear in rooms you visiting almost instantly.
- I can easily embedded to my WordPress blog.
Here is a screen shot of the room I created – 80 Days Cafe.
As you can see, I added …
- An avatar with new hairstyle, t-shirt and jean …
- Two red colored sofas, a coffee table, a standing lamp and one potted plant.
- A wall mounted picture frame that gets a feed from my photo album and a click to the picture will link to a website selling my photo album (neat !!)
- A LCD TV on top of a bench, with a feed from a selected video (Wicked Game guitar solo by Greg Reiter) from YouTube (neat neat !!). The sound is great as well …
And the problems I encountered are …
- Whenever I click the objects (avatar or furniture), a dialogue box pop up to let me edit the properties. However, the dialogue box keep “flashing” and I have to drag the box outside the room estate to stop the flashing. Interestingly, it happens only on my XP computer, but works perfectly in a Vista computer.
- One of my rooms disappeared after login, but reappeared later on. I suspected it is caused by the fact that I ran Lively sometimes in Firefox, and sometimes in IE.
- I don’t think there is enough items to dress up the avatar and not enough styles of furnitures. However, I believe the situation will improve later.
- There was one time the avatar “locked in” with other objects in the room, I have to use another view (toggles in the upper left corner of the room) and move the avatar away from the object.
- There is no way to stop, adjust the volume, and mute the video feed in the LCD TV gadget.
- There is no way to resize the photo frame gadget, and in fact other furnitures as well.
- [Update] Google disabled the gadget function …
All in all, not bad for a beta version. And just in case you wanna know more about the application, here is a video trailer …