Thursday, 6 February 2014

M709 Native 3D apps integration

3 x pre-installed apps focussing on 3D
3DP View, a 3D photo viewer
3DV Player, a 3D video player
3DV Games Centre, a store front for free games that support the M709's 3D screen

3D, ver 1.3 a 3D photo viewer
Supports playback of locally stored MPO and JPS format 3D images.

Every time opening the app, we are first presented with a web hosted gallery of 3D images. I haven't figured out which sites they are specifically pointing to. The main menu to the left has English titled tabs, but the image sub categories have thumbnails with Chinese text. The resolution of the 3D sample images is quite variable, some are looking very low resolution at significantly less than 720p. Upon tapping on the desired thumbnails, files are downloaded from the internet into a temp directory, which I notice are in JPS format and commonly the vertical resolution is just 540 pixels (QHD), which is fine for lesser 3D screens, but is not enough to show of the M709 800p 3D to it's full potential. I don't know how often the web samples in this gallery will be updated, but in the 2 weeks I've spent with this app, the images have not changed. I doubt very much that I will be returning regularly to check for new images posted here. Nor can I find a way to post my own 3D pics to share with others via this app. I wish there were a way to hide away the web gallery tabs altogether. Last but by no means least, the "Local Image" tab lets you browse 3D photos stored locally. The "scan path" is easily customisable to point to the internal storage, a mounted micro SD card or an OTG mounted storage device. "Local Image" is easily the most useful part of the app and I wish it was configurable to be the default when starting the app. You are able to browse 2D thumbnails of the MPO an JPS files on your tablet, then load the file you want to see. The image will initially be displayed in 2D by default. A large bright blue label at the bottom center of the screen indicating the current display mode is "2D". Tap on it, or the soft menu key to switch view to "3D" engaging the parallax barrier. The superfluous 2D/3D indicator is thankfully automatically hidden after 3 seconds. I notice this app did not boost the brightness when switching to 3D mode so you may want to l do that in advance yourself as full brightness helps compensate for the activated parallax barier that blocks out some light. There are also < and > signs left and right on screen allowing for navigation to the next or previous image in the gallery sequence. A finger swipe across the screen in either direction performs the same operation. That's all there is to the UI no slideshow options to speak of. I updated to the latest version 1.32 from within the app (menu key>about>version info>update) but could not see any notable differences afterwards.

Observed that the Android black bar soft key menu at the bottom of the screen does not hide itself when viewing images. While this might be fine for 16x9 images (since the screen's native resolution gives enough space to accommodate, it is a criminal waste of vertical screen space when displaying 4x3 images.

3DV Player, a 3D video player
Supports playback of locally stored mp4 SBS half width 1080p 3D video

3DV Games Centre, a store front of free games that support the M709's 3D screen
Mostly casual games such as 3D Darts. Surprisingly, there is a licensed Disney Toy Story game called "Smash It".
Real Steel boxing is another title I'd heard of before. in both cases, I doubt the developers wrote code to specifically support 3Dscreens. Indeed, the same titles if downloaded from the Google PlayStore are missing the 3D display support. I am not so familiar with the numerous other titles on offer.
Nothing from big developers such as Electronic Arts nor Game Loft. Once installed, these 3D games launch with an added "3D" cog button at the top left of the screen. Tap it to extend a slider bar to set the desired 3D depth. From all the way left to turn off the parallax barrier (ie just plain 2D). Slide to the far right for the maximum 3D depth setting. It works well for the games they've chosen! A genuine sense if depth is seen for the rendered 3D polygons and screen elements such as health bars in Real Steel float as a layer separately from the background action. This is like LG's 3D app converter that came with their Optimus 3D phones, only with less options.


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