YouTube adds Google Cardboard support to iOS
James R | On 18, May 2016
YouTube has added support for Google Cardboard to its iOS app.
The headset, which can be folded together from a pre-made kit, is a handy and affordable way to get a virtual reality headset – they cost around £30 and take five minutes to assemble.
Up until now, though, full Google Cardboard support has only been compatible with the Android YouTube app. This week, Google updated its YouTube app for Apple users, so any video can now be viewed in VR mode (although only 360-degree videos will give the full-on VR experience).
All you have to do is tap the icon in the top-right of a video to get an option to view it in VR mode – which, as Techcrunch points out, basically means that YouTube now has the largest library of virtual reality content for iOS devices.
The update arrives as rumours surround Google’s possible launch of a new Android VR headset this week.
Want to get your hands on one for free? See our competition here.
YouTube officially enters the world of Virtual Reality
8th November 2015
YouTube is entering the realm of Virtual Reality.
The streaming site has been inching towards VR for some time, with the introduction of 3D and 360-degree controls. Now, it has completed the journey with the addition of official support for Virtual Reality videos.
The update, which is (naturally) beginning with its Android app, was first announced in July at VidCon and allows users to view a VR video by tapping on a new Cardboard icon when a video is loaded. What is “Cardboard”, you ask? Why, that’s Google’s own VR headset.
Made from – you guessed it – cardboard, the goggles support phones with screens up to 6 inches and can be assembled from scratch (using cardboard, lenses, magnets and stuff to hold it all together) or folded from a pre-made kit. They costs around £20 online, a darn sight cheaper than Oculus Rift.
As well as newly created VR videos, YouTube is also extending VR support to existing videos: you can now watch any video using Google Cardboard, by clicking on the “Cardboard” option from the watch page menu and putting your Android phone into the viewer.
“You’ll now have the largest VR content library right at your fingertips,” says the site in an official blog post.
“If you were excited about 360° videos, this is pretty freakin’ cool,” YouTube adds.
Google has also teamed up with The New York Times to get Cardboard into viewers’ hands: over a million viewers were sent out to Times subscribers for free this weekend – accompanied by a new VR film, The Displaced, about children uprooted by war.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, says the magazine had “created the first critical, serious piece of journalism using virtual reality, to shed light on one of the most dire humanitarian crises of our lifetime”.
The film was made with VR company VRSE and is the first of several videos The Times will publish.