Oculus writes in a new post on their developer blog that Oculus Go is binary-compatible with Gear VR, and most applications can be launched on the headset without any modifications, but the post covers a few of the key differences between the mobile VR headsets that developers will need to consider:
- Google Play Services: Unlike the Samsung Galaxy devices that run Gear VR, Oculus Go does not ship with Google Play Services installed. You cannot rely on Google Play Services (e.g. Google Firebase, Google Cloud Messaging, etc), or third-party libraries that depend on Google Play Services (e.g. OneSignal) when running on Oculus Go.
- 2D Surfaces: Oculus Go does not have a 2D phone display, and therefore some app behaviors (such as push notifications, or authentication via a separate Android application) do not make sense on Oculus Go.
- Camera: Oculus Go does not have a camera, and cannot run applications that rely upon access to a camera.
- HMD Touchpad: Oculus Go does not have a touchpad on the HMD. Your app should not refer to an HMD touchpad when running on Oculus Go.
- Different Controller: The Oculus Go Controller and Gear VR Controller share the same inputs: both are 3DOF controllers with clickable trackpads and an index finger trigger. Though these two devices provide the same inputs, the physical design of each is distinct. If your app displays a visible controller, you should change the model displayed depending on whether you are running on Gear VR or Oculus Go. Alternatively, a stylized controller model that is distinct from both the Oculus Go Controller and the Gear VR Controller is acceptable.
- Recent SDK Required: Some very old Gear VR apps are still running on pre-1.0 releases of the Mobile SDK. These apps are not supported on Oculus Go.
Furthermore, the company lays out in simple terms how to implement some of the new features that developers ought to consider—like Fixed Foveated Rendering, Dynamic Throttling, and the headset’s optional 72Hz mode. The post also recommends specific versions of development tools that devs will want to use to access such features:
We recommend developing for Oculus Go and Gear VR with the following tools:
- Unity 5.6.5p2 or 2017.4.2 with Oculus Utils 1.24.1 or later (required for many new features described [herein]).
- Unreal 4.18, pulled from Oculus’ GitHub mirror.
- For native code applications, Mobile SDK 1.21 or later.
Oculus Go, which was announced last year and has been in the hands of developers for some time now, is expected to launch imminently, potentially as early as at Facebook’s F8 developer conference early next month.