YouTube VR app rolls out alongside Daydream

Digital MediaNovember 10, 20166:50 AM PST

YouTube's VR app is available at first only on its Daydream headset, so it's out of reach for anyone who doesn't own a Pixel phone for now.


YouTube launched an app for watching its online video catalog in virtual reality, available at first on the Daydream View headset made by its shared parent company, Google.

But that means unless you have a Daydream View, a device released Thursday that works with Google's new Pixel phone, you won't be able to check out the app. So, sorry to anyone who owns an iPhone, or a Samsung phone, or any phone that isn't a Pixel -- in other words, basically everyone.

Virtual reality is an entertainment format that makes viewers feel like they're in the middle of the action. It's among the buzziest consumer technologies this year, with tech giants like Facebook, Samsung and Google investing billions to deliver headsets and VR experiences to consumers more widely. But using VR is an unfamiliar experience compared to movies and even video games, leading to skepticism that VR will find a wide audience.

Thursday, YouTube said in a blog post the new stand-alone VR app allows viewers to fully experience YouTube videos shot with 360-degree cameras, as well as watch all of the site's standard clips by "screening" them in a virtual movie theater.

The latter is a tactic that a lot of video companies use. It allows them to have an app available for VR even if they don't have very much virtual reality to actually watch. But YouTube emphasized VR content it has available already. It called out an immersive apartment tour with Meredith Foster, Tastemade cooking videos and breaking news from HuffPost RYOT, among others.

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