With a recent update to the Android YouTube app, Google Cardboard-compatible smartphones can now view 360-degree video in side-by-side configuration.

The video streaming giant quietly rolled out VR support for their 2D 360-degree videos earlier this month, with no official mention in either their blog or other official information outlets. Only monoscopic videos are currently among those supported for VR viewing.

YouTube had teased VR enthusiats back in March with the addition of 360 video support for mobile devices and Chrome, as well as support for 60 FPS video—two things that point towards a strong interest in VR.

There’s still no word yet on when iOS smartphones will have a chance to get a hold of the now Google Cardboard-compatible app, but we’re optimistic that support is soon to follow.

To access the VR function on 360 videos, first search for the videos by typing #360Video into the mobile app’s search field. Compatible videos should show the symbol below.

360 youtube video icon

You can then pick a video and start playback.

YouTube 360 video

You’ll then have the option to switch to VR mode. Just touch the Google Cardboard icon on the lower right-hand side and insert your Android smartphone into Cardboard or any number of variants available online. Now look around and check it out!

YouTube VR Mode

We’re also crossing our fingers that other mobile VR platforms like Gear VR will also see some 360 YouTube video integration in the near future—despite the fact that may not jive with Samsung and Oculus’ current push to maintain a well-curated selection of 360 content.


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  • AJ@VRSFX

    Yup, I just saw a demo of it yesterday at Silicon Beach Fest. I was surprised. I hadn’t heard of them announcing anything yet.

  • kalqlate

    Great and expected, but sad for all those dev groups aspiring to be the “YouTube of VR” as this signals much more VR support and accommodation to come from the video-hosting titan. YouTube is making it clear that THEY will be the YouTube of VR. YouTube integration to the other consumer VR platforms is inevitable.

  • VRnews.com

    About time !!! This is the future,

    check out more VR news at

    http://www.vrnews.com

  • tyko

    Its a nice thing to do with the google cardboard.
    2 weeks ago i made Gcardboards with the kids (on school) .
    luckely this app was also out right then and i made a little tutorial for them so they can was youtube vids on ther “own made” Gcardboads (we only provided the lenses)

    Since yesterday there is a social-vr app (for pc) online, where you can search/launch/watch 360youtube videos.
    It’s a nice extra feature for keeping people inside the chat-world if there is nobody else to talk with. (common problem for social-vr apps like convrge altspace vrchat etc)
    https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3bfkeb/youtopia_vr_a_new_social_world_that_connects_vr/

    http://www.youtopiavr.com

  • Roy

    Correction! ggodin has pulled it out the bag and updated his Virtual Desktop app to support YT360 videos as well!

    http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3bh2rg/how_to_play_youtube_360_videos_with_a_dk2/

  • tyko

    Since yesterday there is a social-vr app (PC) available with a 360 youtube player inside as well.
    It’s called youtopia, https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3bfkeb/youtopia_vr_a_new_social_world_that_connects_vr/
    It’s a nice experience (also the world itself ) , and it could hold people into te social-vr envoirement if there is nobody else to talk with.
    Sunday june 28 was the application open for people to visit so i am not shure you can still start it .

  • homido

    For Iphone users:

    The same 360 videos can be watched in side-by-side mode (therefore compatible with devices such as Cardboard or Homido) with the “Homido player” that you can download for free from the app store

    Option 1: load a video through the app’s browser (any video, including 360 vids)

    Option 2: upload a video you’ve already downloaded on your computer to the Homido player through itunes

  • Jeff
  • Mord EL Azzouzi

    Je vois qu’il y a plusieurs méthodes pour télécharger de youtube mais malheureusement beaucoup son pas sécurisés moi j’utilise une autre méthode et c’est certainement sécurisé, j’ouvre la vidéo que je veux télécharger et devant youtube sur l’URL j’ajoute ” dlv ” et puis je choisis la qualité de la vidéo ou bien si je veux mp3 je choisis audio et je télécharge ;-)

  • Still waiting for a YouTube 360 app specifically for Oculus CV1.