During I/O 2017, Google unveiled the first major update for their Daydream VR platform originally introduced last year. The update will include a new utility set alongside improvements to the UI. There’s also a pretty unexpected addition headed to Daydream View headsets: Chrome.
Yes, folks. While you’re in your VR universe, you’ll be able to search web pages, visit your bookmarks, and even view WebVR content via actual Google Chrome. This comes as Google attempts to make staying in the Daydream VR interface as convenient as possible. In other words, the company doesn’t want users to have to leave VR mode just to change a setting or view a website on their phone.
This also makes using a standalone VR headset much better. Rather having to resort to your phone, you’ll be able to switch Wi-Fi networks, check notifications, access quick settings, view web content, and more right from the Daydream VR UI that Google’s upcoming VR headsets will use. These are all necessary changes that will need to be implemented if the company wants to create an enjoyable, convenient experience for users.
As some additional tidbits, Google will soon also let you take screenshots from within Daydream VR alongside take video of your actions. What you see in a Daydream headset can also be cast to a television via Google Chromecast so guests can check out your experience in real time.
Finally, Google will open Daydream up to multi-user support for YouTube so you and your friends can stream YouTube content together in VR. A customizable avatar will represent you and each of your friends, while you’ll also be able to actually talk to your buddies using your voice rather leaving comments or texting during videos. And if multiple friends are watching different videos, you can jump between them and sync up to see what they’re watching. It’s kind of like Facebook’s Spaces VR experience which is much more feature-packed over Google’s approach, but at least Google has their heads screwed on right. (Read the Spaces article to understand what I’m talking about. Trust me, you’ll want to).
Google will launch what they’re currently calling Daydream Euphrates (a.k.a. Daydream 2.0) later this year.