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.
You can then pick a video and start playback.
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!
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.