Samsung, following Google, is laying Daydream VR support to rest with the latest Android 10 update for its Galaxy phones. Official Samsung forum, Reddit, and other forum commenters aren’t happy about the decision.
Samsung ends Google Daydream VR support
Samsung’s latest One UI 2.0 builds in Android 10 put an end to the dead VR platform. This means that former Daydream users will find they can no longer connect to Google’s VR platform on their Samsung Galaxy phones.
Mobile VR is proving to be a dying breed. Samsung added Daydream support to its smartphones as a way to support Google’s platform when it went live. Google waited until 2016 to unveil Daydream alongside its first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL.
The company unveiled its first Daydream headset, called the Daydream View, later that year. Samsung unveiled its first Gear VR headset back in 2014 with the Galaxy Note 4. Upon Google’s announcement, Samsung added the Android owner’s platform to its own. This gave Samsung Galaxy users a choice of which platform (or both) to use.
Why Galaxy Daydream Support is dead
Why is Samsung doing this now? The answer is simple. Google has already laid its dead VR platform to rest back in May 2019. At that time, the company released its budget Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL without Daydream support.
When a company releases new phones that lack support for its virtual reality platform, it’s a telling sign that the company is either retiring the platform or close to it. When Google released the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL last Fall, it confirmed what many had known all along.
Hulu was already ahead of the game, as it ended Daydream support for its app back in July 2019. In a sense, Google retired its VR ambitions in 2018, and the Pixel 3a series’ lack thereof was the nail in the coffin.
Samsung has waited some time to follow suit. With Google no longer supporting its own platform, it only makes sense that Android’s most popular OEM would do the same.
Mobile VR is essentially dead, anyway
Samsung shouldn’t be thought ill of because it has killed Daydream support for its Galaxy phones. The reality is that Samsung has also killed its own Gear VR platform, too. Oculus Chief Technology Officer (CTO) John Cormack called for “a bit of a eulogy for Gear VR” at Oculus’s Connect 6 Conference back in September.
With standalone VR headsets on the rise, consumers have another option. Facebook-owned Oculus is selling affordable standalone headsets like the Oculus Go. Standalone VR allows users to move around and engage the gaming environment. Mobile VR required users to sit down for gameplay.
Additionally, adding VR support to smartphones resulted in game freezes, overheating, and reduced battery life. Mobile VR was a good introduction to virtual reality, but a better solution is here.