At Vrideo, it’s our goal to make immersive video as accessible as possible, which means ensuring that our platform plays friendly across the universe of VR and non-VR devices. Our website, which launched in beta in March, was a natural starting point in this endeavor, especially given the innate openness of the web and the expanding ability for web browsers to power VR experiences. However, we knew all along that in order to offer users the best possible experiences on mobile devices and the host of VR headsets coming to market, we’d need to extend our platform beyond the web.
With that in mind, we’re excited to announce today not one, not two, but three new apps from Vrideo, including a native VR app for the Samsung Gear VR, native mobile app for Android phones, and native mobile app for iPhones. Here’s some further detail on these three new additions to our platform…
- Samsung Gear VR. Our first-ever native VR app brings our entire library of content and pretty much all of the features and functionality of our website, besides the uploading of videos themselves, to VR. Indeed, we believe our app is one of the first to port several key social, content discovery, and account management features to VR. The app also sports functionality exclusive to VR, perhaps most notably the ability to locally cache videos for smooth playback with limited or no internet connection. Our app, which Samsung Gear VR owners can download today on the Oculus Store, will also be available on forthcoming headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR, among others.
- Android and iPhone. Our Android app, now available on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, and iPhone app, launching in the coming weeks on the Apple App Store, allow viewers to enjoy immersive video straight from their phones, with or without a headset. Users can look around a video by tilting and panning their phones or by “dragging” the video with their finger. Videos can also be launched in “VR mode” for viewing with Google Cardboard and other mobile-lite VR headsets.
Finally, as evidence that we’re still very much invested in our web presence, we’re also today unveiling a major homepage redesign, giving users easy access to not only our platform’s trending videos, but also their subscription feed activity, featured categories and channels, and the most recent uploads to Vrideo.
These launches are the culmination of six month of hard work for our team, first and foremost our engineers and designers, who like me have been working so much they barely noticed that the summer just passed us by. (This is admittedly easier to swallow when your company is based in Santa Monica, where it’s essentially summer year round!) Having a “full” product suite in place across the web, mobile, and VR, it in many ways feels like we’ve finally graduated from beta.
With that said, we have no intention of slowing down. Our mobile apps are very much v0.5’s, and there are several additional features we’re already hard at work on. The Gear VR, as mentioned above, is the first of many VR headsets we’ll be supporting natively. And all around us, the pace of innovation related to immersive video is only quickening, with a growing community of folks just as driven as we are to see this new medium realize its full potential. There’s no stopping now.