Google Discontinues The Daydream VR Headset

Google’s mobile-focused virtual reality platform is no longer officially supported by the company. The company confirmed that it will no longer be updating the Daydream software, and it will also no longer sell the Daydream View mobile headset.

Google has slowed down Daydream for a while. There was no mention of Daydream at the company’s I/O 2018 developers conference nor its hardware event last year. “There hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset,” a spokesperson said. Although the system had potential, “we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution,” said the spokesperson. “Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.”

Google launched the Daydream View alongside the first Pixel phone in 2016, and several other phone makers, including Samsung and added support for it over the years. After product rollouts in 2016, Google quickly abandoned its VR efforts. Google has shown a pivot from VR after Apple’s announcement of ARKit and turned its AR platform Tango into ARCore, an AR developer platform. “We’re investing heavily in helpful AR experiences like Google Lens, AR walking navigation in Maps, and AR in Search that use the smartphone camera to bridge the digital and physical worlds, helping people do more with what they see and learn about the world around them,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Since Facebook has still continued to VR efforts, especially with the new release of Oculus Quest 2, Google is now not a part of it with Daydream.

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Google’s Daydream VR is Officially Dead

Illustration for article titled Googles Daydream VR Is Officially, Really, Finally Dead

Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

If you happen to be one of the few people who still use Google’s Daydream VR platform, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s officially dead. (If you didn’t know Daydream was a thing, that’s totally OK. I forgot it was, too.) Spotted by Android Authority, Google recently issued a service update for Daydream letting any lingering users know the software is no longer supported.

“You may still be able to access the service, but it won’t receive any more software or security updates,” said the support page. “The Daydream VR app is no longer supported by Google and may not work properly on some devices running Android 11 or later.”

Some recent reviews on the platform’s Google Play store page show users users having difficulty launching Chrome in Daydream, as well as one confirming that it does not work with the latest Android 11 update. The writing was on the wall long before today, though.

Last October, VentureBeat reported that Google would discontinue support for Daydream starting with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. It also stopped selling the VR headsets the same day, too. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL shipped without Daydream VR support in May 2019, and Google also removed its Play Movies & TV app Daydream in June 2019. Hulu dropped its support for the platform in September 2019.

“Over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution,” a Google spokesperson said to VentureBeat. “There also hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset.”

VR that relied on your smartphone always felt sort of gimmicky and dumb from the