Google Expeditions Gets Self-Guided Solo Mode

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Google's Expeditions app now features a solo mode, fully compatible with mobile VR systems like Cardboard and Daydream, that allows users to be their own tour guide and check out some of the world's greatest landmarks and locations without anybody else's help or a set course or schedule. Getting started is as easy as downloading the revamped Expeditions app from the Play Store, and sliding your phone into your VR headset of choice. The base experience works just fine on Cardboard, or on a Samsung Gear VR headset without Oculus' software engaged, but Daydream View users will find additional controls at their disposal to help guide them through their adventure.

Solo tours can be taken in Explorer mode and Guide mode. Explorer mode is exactly what it sounds like; users can move around landscapes freely, and check out marked points of interest that present as dots in their view. Interacting with such a point can do a number of things, including giving a text briefing on the point of interest, or warping the user into a position to get a better view or see a different part of it. Guide mode, meanwhile, is useful for checking out premade tours, and creating tour itineraries for others to use. This means that the app's original audience, being students, can now take tours custom-made by their teachers, and parents can give their children a targeted culture lesson with nothing more than a phone and a VR headset.

Google Expeditions is still able to do premade, packaged, and guided tours; the difference is that there are more options now, and those guided tours, among all the other offerings of the app, are now available to everybody, whereas they previously would only work properly for teachers and students registered under Google's education program. The app is free to download from the Play Store, and will run on just about any Android device, even without a VR headset. Without a headset, highlights are presented on a card against a backdrop of the tour destination, and users can hit the pause button to check out the destination itself by dragging their finger around the screen. Guide and explorer modes both work in this configuration, as well.

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