Virtual reality isn’t the “next best thing in tech.” It’s already alive and kicking among us. In fact, Google has prepared a whole arsenal of native and third-party apps to hail the upcoming entrance of Daydream their new VR system which (for now) is only available and compatible with Android 7 and other compatible devices like Pixel. This group of apps was designed to work with their own VR headsets (essentially a deluxe version of Google Cardboard) along with a remote control with gyroscopic sensors allowing users to comfortably move around within their virtual experiences.
What is Daydream?
The idea here is to bring virtual reality to your whole smartphone browsing experience not unlike market-rate Minority Report type devices. But, for starters, the base app in Daydream is; to all practical effects, just your average, everyday app launcher. You’ll also need to install Google’s own VR service app in order to pair your device; a symbiosis that doesn’t fall far from the tree planted by Google’s other Play Services and its own toolbox of first-party machines.
When it comes to system requirements, more often than not you’ll need Android Nougat in order for it to run, and in terms of software, the list of compatible devices is somewhat negligible considering its avalanche of requirements. Pixel and other recent Nexus models are the chosen few compatible devices, but that doesn’t mean earlier smartphones are to be excluded. Or, at least that’s their story on paper. However, there is always the off chance that using a Nexus 6P and an AR visor with another smartphone in-hand to simulate the gyroscopic controls provided by Daydream, would fly. That being said, one thing for sure is that makers like Samsung, HTC and LG are already well on their way to offer users VR compatibility with upcoming hardware.
Which apps are on Daydream?
First line apps are Google’s target when it comes to adapting them to Daydream which is why there’s already a YouTube platform that allows not only 360º videos, but also a complete browser interface designed for use from VR headsets. Using any compatible device is enough to get you in 360º viewing mode, but in order to go into immersive video you’ll need to complete all the aforementioned requirements.
YouTube VR isn’t the only platform to join in; Google Street View now has a decent immersive mode as well as other platforms that also allow for later-on compatibility between Google Play TV & Movies. Moreover, we’re expecting a huge influx of VR-based games adding on to the already hundreds of VR titles available, with some very enticing licensing agreements like Harry Potter and the saga’s recent spin-off in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.