Meta released the v50 update for Quest 2, bringing to the standalone some new experimental features that not only aim to make hand-tracked UI navigation a little more natural, but also bring 2D app multitasking to Quest 2 for the first time.

One of the headlining features of v50 is something Meta is calling ‘Direct Touch’, which lets you tap and swipe through the Home UI. Simply ‘touch’ the tile and manipulate the menu like you would on a phone or tablet, Meta says, something that sounds a little more natural than pinching tiles from a distance in mid-air.

Meta says in a blog post that Direct Touch brings Quest “closer to that more intuitive hands-on future” that it hoped to bring when it first integrated optical hand tracking in 2019. Check out how it works in the gif below:

“We’ve reworked the Meta Quest UI so that—once you enable Direct Touch—you can tap buttons with your index finger to adjust your Settings or select a game from your library, quickly type out messages on the virtual keyboard, and more,” Meta says.

You can opt-in by navigating to the ‘Experimental Settings’ tab in-headset and turning on the ‘Direct Touch’ toggle, of course provided v50 has already rolled out to your device.

Meta’s v50 update also includes a new Quest 2 feature previously exclusive to Quest Pro: in-game multitasking. This lets you navigate to 2D apps, such as a browser, without closing the VR app you currently have open. Effectively, this means you can stay in-headset while you browse game walkthroughs, check your email, or whatever else you can do in a 2D app, all while still in-game.

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As for Quest Pro, Meta says v50 has also reduced the amount of time it takes for tracking to initialize on the Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers—something oft lamented by early adopters due to the controllers’ inside-out tracking capabilities, which need to find their bearings in the room first.

Meanwhile, v50 marks the last time Meta is shipping new features to Quest 1. The company says in the release notes that while Quest 1 owners will be able to use their headsets beyond 2024, users will no longer be able to create or join a party; Quest 1 users who currently have access to Meta Horizon Home social features will lose access to these features on March 5, 2023—which means you also won’t be able to invite others to your Home or visit someone else’s Home.

With Quest 1 seemingly in the dustbin, Meta appears to be focusing on unifying some of the feature sets between Quest 2 and Quest Pro while polishing the software experience before the release of its next headset, Quest 3.

Earlier this month, Meta affirmed plans to release a Quest 3 headset at some point this year, something the company calls a mixed reality headset, inviting comparisons to Quest Pro—albeit without the face-tracking of the latter due to its relative cost, Meta says.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    More post launch support than all PCVR headsets and platforms combined.

    • LMAO

      Ignorant troll alert!

      • ViRGiN

        quit clowning you dummie. your HiGhEnD valve index have never received a single real update and never will you valve shill.

        • LMAO

          Ignorant troll alert!

          • ViRGiN

            Cope

          • LMAO

            Ignorant troll alert!

          • ViRGiN

            Ignorant troll alert!

          • LMAO

            Ignorant troll alert!

  • Nevets

    Good Meta. They do a lot to support their flagshir MR product.

    • ViRGiN

      I can’t wait for the entertaining comments calling out Meta “abandoning” their products, reassuring these people that buying all games on Steam was the right choice despite never getting any real update ever; similar to recent Quest 1 dropping announcement.

      • Nevets

        Quest 2 is a few years old. It cannot be supported forever and quest one certainly can’t be. Progress has to come at the expense of Legacy software. That said, I’m not sure what you mean about never getting any real update ever. Quest 2 has had loads of substantial software upgrades.

  • Meta in some ways may be evil to it’s very core, but at the very least, they keep the updates comin’ when everyone else is getting laid off

    • Martin

      Well yeah, there’s a boat load of money to be made off 3D scans of your living space with your girlfriend’s panties on the floor, that they can then sell to advertisers. But don’t worry, no human EVER looks at it. Right….?

  • ApocalypseShadow

    All these updates are cool. But..

    Where’s the games? What’s the update on new games? Where’s Assassin’s Creed? Where’s GTA?

    They spend plenty of time on features just to beat Apple. But gamers want games.

    • hellohellohellobye

      The harsh reality is that gaming is very niche in the grand scheme of things, regular non-gaming folks don’t value what we value and unfortunately, there’s more of them out there than us.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        That’s not what I’m saying. Facebook spends a lot of time on updating features. Makes no games to compliment those features.

        Pass through AR. Any big games from Facebook to go with it? Nope. Hand tracking update. Did Facebook make any big game or games for that? Nope. Quest Pro has eye tracking. Any games to take advantage of it from Facebook? Nope. They released expensive controllers last October that are compatible with Quest 2.. Any games to take advantage of the new controller or its features? Nope.

        Facebook has inhouse developers. They have a lot of money. A lot. None of their in-house developers have created anything for these features.

        It’s not about niche. It’s about Facebook not loading the away in making games. They rely on indie developers to make a game or update a game to take advantage of a new feature. The The Demeo developer for hand tracking. But where Facebook’s hand tracking game.

        That’s what I’m talking about.

  • CharlesPowell#SnitchGang

    Ouuu
    Don’t care

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Like @EricKF50:disqus already mentioned: the updates on the Quest2 have been absolutely impressive but where are the games? Also, the wireless option is great, but the stand alone graphics power is only a fraction of what is needed to create a more or less realistic world, ending in cartoon-like games like wlakabout minigolf: nice but not enough for me.

    So I am considering either to get a PS5+PSVR2 or a PC setup. The first version, with custom lenses and maybe some upgrades like an extra face mask or so will set me back about 1200, a PCVR game setup : PC+VR glasess,controllers,stations more towards 4000-5000 and essentially requires a VR room (which I have)- with Virgin’s comments about the games being modded than actually created for VR – expect tons of fiddling before things – kind off – work, but then have a load of AAA VR games, or use Sony’s Precooked selection. Sure, the Sony way offers no upgrade path but all the tinkering and money may just not be worth it for me…
    Then again: Flight simulator alone is an impressive package… if that comes to Sony, my choice is made – but I doubt it will.

  • silvaring

    Anyone tried this yet?