The OnLive Viewer iPad/Android App Shows What The Future Might Be For Mobile Computing

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OnLive is quickly turning into a major force in the gaming and mobile fields. The on-demand gaming service launched last summer but that was just the beginning it seems. A movie streaming service is apparently on tap and the just-announced mobile viewer apps clearly shows that the crazy compression scheme can be used for other applications as well. Ever wanted to run Autodesk’s Maya on your iPad? Yeah, this app can make it happen.

OnLive’s CEO just showed off the app on stage at the D: Dive into Mobile conference. It’s specifically tooled to view both live and pre-recorded game clips from the company’s gaming service. That’s fine and almost predictable, but Steve Perlman then showed Maya and Flash running on his iPad through this app. Think VNC but with a much better frame rate. The company says even Windows 7 is possible.

You can get the app right now, or watch the video above.

Update (Greg Kumparak): We’re not supposed to shoot video of the conference panels, and the app that’s currently in the store doesn’t seem to offer up the Maya/Flash goodness we mentioned. We’ll get the conference’s official footage up as soon as we can, but in the mean time, a quick run down of what they showed:

  • They started by launching the OnLive app on an iPad, and using Internet Explore (running on a remote computer) to load up a Flash-heavy website. All of the Flash, rendered remotely and streamed over the same protocol OnLive built for their game streaming service, ran pretty dang quick; it wasn’t perfectly seamless, but it was impressive. If I had to guess, maybe 20-25 frames per second? The sound came through with good fidelity, and seemed to be synced well with the video.
  • He then showed the app running in a spectator mode on a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Everything the iPad was doing and seeing, the Galaxy Tab could see (though, as it’s in spectator mode, it couldn’t interact with things.)
  • Steve Perlman then used the Galaxy Tab to view a Quicktime move — again, it was pretty smooth, and the audio was clear. The scrubbing bar at the bottom of the video was incredibly responsive; Perlman contrasted this to the somewhat limited frame-by-frame scrubbing found in apps like Netflix
  • Perlman disclosed that he believes OnLive’s remote rendering system is “the fastest supercomputer in the world”. When China announced that their Tianhe-1A supercomputer was the fastest in the world back in October, OnLive realized that theirs was faster.
  • He switched back to the iPad, and demonstrated Maya running remotely. He was able to pan around and zoom with surprisingly low latency, and the menu controls seemed responsive. He then popped into an Autodesk-built 3D environment (I didn’t catch the name), complete with a complicated skybox, high-res textures, gorgeous clouds, etc. all of which their aforementioned supercomputer was rendering in real time.
OnLive Available Now for iPad Android Version in Beta

First system to enable live video game spectating across TV, computer and mobile

Palo Alto, Calif., December 7, 2010—OnLive, Inc., the pioneer of on-demand, instant-play video games, today announced immediate availability of the free OnLive® Viewer mobile app for iPad®, a demonstration of OnLive Viewer beta for the just-released Android™ Samsung Galaxy Tab™ as well as a series of mobility breakthroughs in entertainment and computing.

Gaming as a Spectator Sport
The OnLive Viewer mobile app—the first cloud gaming app for a mobile device—enables live spectating of any of millions of OnLive video game sessions as they are played around the world.

Check out gameplay of new-release top console games, view and rate Brag Clip™ videos of incredible moves and engage in live chat and friending with OnLive players—all with just a few taps on your iPad or Android tablet screen.

“Spectating of other players is by far the most popular OnLive activity after gameplay itself, and the convenience and mobility of iPad and Android tablets adds an incredible dimension to it,” said John Spinale, OnLive VP of Games and Media. “Watching live games and interacting with the people playing them takes social gaming to an entirely new level. It’s unlike any other experience. And people love it.”

Tip of a Vast Iceberg
The OnLive mobile app released today provides a first glimpse into the possibilities of OnLive mobile technology. The high-performance games hosted by OnLive were developed for consoles and high-end PCs and are not yet tuned for the touch-based tablets, so this version of the OnLive Viewer app is focused on spectating and social features. Full game play capability and more complete integration with mobile device features will be supported in future versions.

“We’re delighted to welcome OnLive to the Android ecosystem,” said Andy Rubin, VP of Mobile Platforms at Google. “OnLive has been able to take advantage of Android’s open platform to deliver an advanced user experience in record time. The pairing of OnLive and Android is extremely powerful.”

Today, at the first D: Dive into Mobile conference, OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman took the OnLive mobile app beyond gaming and demonstrated previously impossible high-performance applications, running on an iPad and an Android Samsung Galaxy Tab™ using the OnLive Viewer, including ultra-high-end enterprise applications such as Autodesk® Maya® and high-speed browsing with full-feature Adobe® Flash® and Microsoft® Silverlight® website compatibility. Perlman then showed full-featured Microsoft Windows® 7 Touch running seamlessly on both iPad and Android platforms. This demonstration marks the first time high-end enterprise applications or full-featured Flash, Silverlight and Windows 7 have run on iPad and Android platforms.

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