Google’s Daydream Android VR platform just got a lot more watchable. Already the only place you’ll find the official YouTube VR app, Daydream just picked up more major content providers.


While Gear VR has been the exclusive home of Netflix VR since September 2015, the app has now landed on Daydream, Google’s Android VR platform. The app doesn’t yet serve up VR content, instead putting users inside of a virtual living room with a big screen (somewhat oddly) placed under the mantle of a fireplace, offering up the whole of Netflix’s ‘flat’ video library.

hbo-now-go-daydream-vrAlso serving up non-VR videos is HBO NOW VR (and HBO GO VR) on Daydream. This is a big win for the platform as it’s the first HBO VR app anywhere. Like Netflix VR, the HBO VR apps present a virtual bigscreen in a home theater setting with access to HBO’s library of flat video content.

While both HBO and Netflix are only offering flat content for the time being, the door is clearly open for native VR video content from each.

Golf US Open NextVROf the three, the new NextVR app on Daydream is the only one offering proper VR video which is both 360 degrees and 3D. NextVR’s small but growing library is focused around sports and music events, and also offers the chance to watch VR broadcasts live, like weekly NBA games. As with Netflix VR, Gear VR was formerly the only place to watch NextVR content, but now Daydream users can join the fun.

Daydream is also the only VR platform with access to the official YouTube VR app, a trump card which Google appears to have purposefully kept away from Samsung’s Gear VR. The YouTube VR app offers access to YouTube’s massive flat video library as well as 360 and 360 3D VR Youtube videos, which the company is actively growing.

New YouTube VR App is Completely Re-designed for Daydream

Add to that Hulu VR, Jaunt VR, Littlstar, Within, and Google Play Movies & TV, and it’s clear that Daydream has taken the top spot as the best place to watch video content in VR. Gear VR still has a number of great exclusive one-off pieces of VR video content, like the excellent Inside the Box of Kurios, though they are spread out across individual app-wrappers rather than part of a curated content library.

Amazon Video is among the only major video streaming libraries that hasn’t yet announced a VR offering, and it’s likely that the various platforms are competing heavily for it to be a timed exclusive on just one platform.

Amazingly, not one of these video apps (in any incarnation, not just their Daydream versions) offer social/multiplayer functionality. So unless you’re used to watching movies, TV, and sports alone, these apps may remain more of a novelty for the time being. Here’s to hoping that once the first app introduces social watching, the rest will follow.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force: Now Daydream-Ready

Curiously, tethered VR headsets like Rift, Vive, and PSVR have been almost entirely excluded from major streaming video apps. Hulu VR and Jaunt VR are the only two of the aforementioned major apps available on any of the tethered headsets. Meanwhile, YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Google Play Movies & TV, and even NextVR—the only one of the bunch with a library of exclusively VR video content—aren’t available for the leading tethered headsets.

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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."
  • Sunny Viji

    oh come on netflix, plz come to PSVR

    • Taun

      Ditto for Oculus Rift!

  • Valentino

    Not everyone has a real large screen TV. VR simulates this for us less fortunate mortals.

    • SimonH

      A decent 4k 40 inch TV is down to £350 inclusive of UKs high 20% VAT tax. A S7+Gear VR/Pixel+Daydream is over £600/£700. That phone price might be £35/month, but you could buy a TV on your credit card.

      I’d prefer to watch a movie on that 40 inch 4k TV than a 1000 pixel 180″ virtual screen. I tried watching content on Gear VR and Vive… but quality was just too poor with screen door and low res for movies.

      ps a 55″ is now only around £550. ;)

      • Valentino

        So would I, but it’ll be hell karting the huge TV up to my bedroom just to watch the rest of the movie.

      • user

        with hdr?

  • user

    but with a headset you can lie in your bed and watch.

  • Foreign Devil

    Jaunt VR from the oculus home doesn’t work at all on my Rift CV1. All I get are horizontal lines when I try to play their videos. ANyone else get this? I tried to contact them on their Facebook page but they don’t seem to care to respond. (everything else working fine on my Rift).

  • Foreign Devil

    I don’t have a TV. . but still prefer to watch most videos on my 21″ computer monitor. To be honest all the 3D 360 videos I have seen so far online are pixelated to the point of being unwatchable. I like 180 degree videos. . but 360 degree is just a waste of bandwith. . and we don’t have the bandwith to really support it yet. I mean the action usually takes place in front of you and wasting extra bandwith so you can turn around and ignore the action to stair at a table or wall isn’t worth it.

  • RockstarRepublic

    As someone pointed out, you do not need to own an expensively large display to enjoy a massive screen in VR. You could have your very own movie theater sized screen for a price most people can afford. Displays in VR are dynamic.
    This could cheaply put massive displays in the hands of those who would not normally be able to afford it.

    Aside from that… I found that watching Stranger Things was far more enjoyable on a VR headset than it was in front of my own high end displays. Immersion was greater, it puts you in your own personal little dimension…and at least with the content trying to emulate the 80s tv experience, the phone display actually made it feel more legit…. nostalgic.

    That kind of experience was simply more enjoyable due to it being a different experience, different “location” and having any size screen at your disposal.

  • James Marvin

    Here’s how I managed to unblock all American channels including Netflix USA abroad

  • Lisa Square

    I would like to buy two for xmas gifts. I don’t have a clue. I don’t want to invest a lot of money. Any suggestion on which one or what kind? I think I would like to stick to the one that operates with the phone .