While Google has obviously been very busy with its exploits in virtual reality, it’s not so obvious how Apple plans to utilise this technology. Still, there remain many ways in which iPhone users can don a fancy headset and throw themselves into awesome virtual worlds.
Could Apple be working on a VR headset?
Could we soon see an Apple-branded VR headset hit the market? It certainly looks probable. On his company’s quarterly earnings call in January, Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked: “In terms of VR, I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”
Given how incredibly secretive Apple tends to be about its in-development projects, this is likely to be the closest that we ever get to an official confirmation of an Apple-made VR project until it is just about to be brought to market. Still, there is other evidence that Apple is indeed working on such a project – and, even now, there remain plenty of exciting VR opportunities for iPhone users to occupy themselves with.
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) January 29, 2016
VR viewers are cheaper than you might think…
Google has recently made two big moves that have led to virtual reality becoming even more exciting and accessible for iPhone users. One has been releasing its low-cost Google Cardboard VR viewer in the UK; you can now order one headset for just £15 or a bundle of two for £25. The other move has been updating the YouTube iOS app with VR capabilities.
— Google VR (@googlevr) June 7, 2016
We’ve previously introduced readers of this blog to Google Cardboard, a VR initiative which enables any smartphone owner to enjoy this technology by, while spending little money in the process, purchasing a VR headset or even making their own. So, once you’ve got your own headset and securely fastened your iPhone into it, what should you do next?
A wealth of possibilities with Cardboard
On iOS, there’s an impressive variety of apps developed for use with Google Cardboard; you can easily peruse many of them by using the search term “Google Cardboard” in the App Store and looking out for the apps with “for Google Cardboard” in their titles. You could have fun experimenting with many apps – but all of the VR experiences that most excite you could come from just one…
— Google VR (@googlevr) May 16, 2016
In May, Google updated the YouTube iPhone app with Cardboard support. This means that all videos – yes, every single one – on YouTube can now be enjoyed as immersive virtual reality experiences, even videos not originally shot to be watched in this way. To switch to Cardboard mode within the app, hit the three circles in a video’s top-right corner before selecting the Cardboard icon.
A bright future for VR on iPhone
As virtual reality technology becomes more and more practical and fun to use, we can also expect it to even further enter the mainstream – which should open up even more opportunities for iPhone users. And, who knows – maybe Apple could, before too long, bring out its own VR product that blows the competition out of the water. That’s certainly what Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has recently expressed hope for…