The era of smartphone-powered virtual reality appears all-but-over, with Google calling time on its Daydream VR platform.
While the platform has been out of favour for quite some time, Google has officially ceased support for Daydream with the launch of Android 11.
In an announcement on a Google support page the company says that although some experiences may remain available in the Play Store, many may not work properly with Android 11. The four-year-old platform had shown plenty of promise as an affordable alternative to the expensive PC-connected options like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive PC-connected, as well as the PlayStation Vue headset.
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Google released its own headset called the Daydream View, last updated in 2017, which offered a comfortable, lightweight fit and a plush design. It was rumoured Google had planned a standalone version of the device which didn’t require the insertion of a handset, similar to the Oculus Go headset. It did not materialise.
Samsung’s Gear VR platform has also fallen by the wayside in recent years as consumers lost interest in the entry-level VR experiences. Given the standalone Oculus Quest range is now hitting the high notes without the need to be connected to a PC, there’s little need for mobile-based experiences anymore.
In the post, Google says Daydream will not be getting any more feature or security updates, meaning any bugs that develop won’t be fixed from now on.
Google writes (via Android Police): “Thank you for using Daydream View. The Daydream VR app is no longer supported by Google and may not work properly on some devices running Android 11 or later. Many of the third-party apps and experiences within Daydream may still be available as standalone apps in the Google Play store. We don’t expect users to lose account information or functionality for third-party apps as a result of Daydream no longer being supported by Google.”