Full Google Cardboard VR Support On YouTube For iOS

By Victor Thomson , May 18, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

In advance of its I/O conference starting today, Google has announced an update to YouTube for iOS that provides Cardboard VR support to any video.

According to Tech Crunch, since November, YouTube's Android app already had full Cardboard support, but iPhone users still could not enjoy the VR Cardboard experience on iOS. With this new Google release, iOS users can finally have access to this feature by tapping the icon in the top-right of any YouTube video.

YouTube essentially just became the largest iOS virtual reality content library, which is great news for mobile VR. Now anything on YouTube, even if it is not a 360 or VR video, can be viewed in VR mode.

With this new functionality viewers are basically watching any video on YouTube for iOS in theater mode. The Cardboard VR feature does not magically turn regular YouTube videos into 360-degree content, but 360 content gives an immersive experience and looks awesome in Cardboard mode.

On YouTube's 360 Videos channel, users can find a large collection of clips. There viewers can really take advantage of the Cardboard mode feature. The reason for this is the fact that the videos there were shot in 360 degrees, therefore providing a better VR experience.

This is just the latest step in Google's strategy of increasing the support for iPhone VR feature. Back in March, the company has introduced a Carboard-oriented SDK, aimed to help software developers to easily integrate 360-degree video.

Rumors about the Android VR headset that Google is expected to launch this week prove that the Cardboard platform is likely to remain an important part of the company's mobile VR strategy. However, the new Google VR headset will be made of a more expensive and, will be made of, a more rigid material than cardboard, according to CNet.

The new smartphone-based headset will feature improved lenses and sensors, housed in a solid plastic casing. Google's move would fit the trend among big tech companies toward the maturation of virtual reality technology.

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