htc-vive-ios-app-virtual-realityWhile we first saw the HTC Vive iOS app appear at the end of March, it had vanished by the Vive’s April 5th launch day. Now the app has returned to the App Store to keep you connected to your iPhone while inside the Vive.

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See Also: HTC Vive Review – A Mesmerising VR Experience, if You Have the Space

The HTC Vive app on Android had appeared earlier this month, but the HTC Vive iOS app has only recently become available for the first time since the headset launched back in early April.

We wondered previously whether or not the iOS version of the app would have additional restrictions compared to the Android counterpart, but it appears that both are equally quite limited.

One major criticism of the apps, which are designed to keep you from being isolated from your smartphone while using the Vive headset, is that they don’t support any third-party applications. That means if your Messenger or WeChat conversations are blowing up, your Vive will be none-the-wiser as you blissfully build Fantastic Contraptions.


Road to VR’s Paul James, who recently put the Android version of the app through its paces, concluded that this first attempt by HTC to bring our smartphones into VR is rather clunky.

It’s the meeting of two very different technologies at different ends of their evolutionary arcs. People are used to a seamless, smooth experience when using their smartphone because of years of iterative UI design and operating system evolutions. But VR is just starting out, and this attempt to mesh them feels somewhat clumsy. I had real trouble pairing the Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, with multiple retries and reboots required and the fact that the system requires you to reconnect manually to the headset every time you use it feels like a step people simply won’t bother with. Text responses are limited at present to pre-set, predefined options – configured from within the Android app. The HTC Vive microphone provided good enough voice quality for calls too.

All that said, it’s a start, and once it’s up and running it does indeed work. But with current functionality it feels unlikely that people will flock to using the system day to day. We’ll see where HTC take the system from here.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Matt R

    No different than I would expect from RtoVR.

  • Kai2591

    Naturally, it will be perfected in time.

  • Zobeid

    I’ve been struggling to get this work, but I can’t get it to “pair” with the Vive. Adding insult, the app told me to go into Vive preferences and do something with the phone settings there. . . settings which I found don’t actually exist.