Quest users have long wanted a better way to manage windowed content to make web browsing and using 2D apps a little easier. While users subscribed to the Public Test Channel (PTC) have been able to do that since late June, starting next week everyone is getting the ability to place windows wherever they want with the rollout of v67.

Update (July 4th, 2024): Meta says the update will start rolling out the week of July 8th, coming to Quest 2/3/Pro. This allows you to arrange up to three panels in a new “hinged” layout, and then place up to three more panels anywhere. When it arrives, you can find the new flexible window feature under Experimental in Settings.

The update is also adding a ‘Theater View’ button to the control bar to let you automatically expand a panel’s size and dim everything else.

Additionally, Meta is rolling out Swipe Typing, letting you slide your finger or cursor from letter to letter to spell words—accessible via Settings, then System, then Keyboard and selecting the toggle next to Swipe Typing.

Another highlight for Quest 3 is the ability to use a new Wi-Fi QR code scanner, letting you scan a QR code whilst in-headset, accessible by in Settings, then Wi-Fi and tap Scan QR Code.

You can check out  the full release notes for v67 here. The original article detailing the PTC version of v67 follows below:

Original Article (June 25th, 2024): As discovered by XR enthusiast and serial data miner Luna, the PTC has allowed some users early access to the headset’s v67 update, which includes a new experimental feature that allows a more flexible way of placing windowed content—feeling more than a little inspired by Vision Pro.

Check it out in action below:

Meta first unveiled multitasking support in early 2020, which allowed users to place multiple windows in three docks. Luna notes that, at least in its early access release, windowed content appears to be limited to three docked panels and three freely placeable panels, making for a lot more flexibility when it comes to setting up your virtual home office.

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There’s also set to be a new virtual keyboard feature that lets you to place the keyboard both vertically or at an angle for easier typing.

To access these features before stable release, you’ll need to enroll in the PTC. If you haven’t already, follow this quick guide, courtesy of Meta.

To sign up for eligibility for Quest PTC from the mobile app:

  1. Open the mobile app, tap Menu in the bottom-right corner, then tap Devices.
  2. Tap Headset settings, then tap Advanced settings.
  3. Tap the toggle next to Public Test Channel to try to join Quest PTC.
    • If the toggle doesn’t work, Quest PTC is currently full and not available.

From there, as Luna mentions, simply head to Settings > Experimental Features > New Window Layout, and toggle the feature to activate.

If you’re on PTC and don’t have those features yet, make sure to check back regularly, as Meta tends to do soft rollouts of both its early access and stable OS updates.

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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 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • impurekind

    OK, now it's starting to get more interesting.

  • MeowMix

    Good to see they're porting more of the Oculus Dash (released back in 2017) features over to Quest

  • Everybody's using "Lakeside Peak". lol
    [ ]^ )

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    The feature is welcome, and I hope that everybody keeps looking at what others have implemented, and then shamelessly copies the best ideas, as this is what will benefit users the most and drive the medium forward. But I doubt that Meta really copied AVP here in any way. They almost certainly had implemented more flexible windows management before, but for some, possibly technical reasons, hadn't made it available to users.

    So in a way I wish the article title would only refer to improved Quest window management without referencing AVP, even if in this particular case Apple's HMD actually was the trigger for Meta to enable this now. I feel there is way too much pointless discussion about who came up with what first, when we are all relying on what others have done before us. Concepts like user interfaces have developed over decades, and appointing arbitrary "ownership" for single points during the development to whoever showed it first isn't helpful. Nobody owns or created Windows management, it developed over a long time and many iterations, with many people contributing new ideas.

    [This isn't directed against Scott's article, more against people regularly trying to polarize the discussion into opposing HMD factions by discrediting others with "but X did it first" claims. Usually to declare whatever they prefer the winner, disregarding that users will benefit much more from healthy competition than one side dominating.]

    • But I wonder why it did take so much to Meta to do this. HoloLens had this many years ago… Meta could do this even with Quest 2 I think, but it had to wait for AVP to come out to do this. It makes little sense to me…

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        I suspect it's connected to the limited multitasking, restricted by RAM. Most Quest apps assume they run alone and consume all available memory, and for performance sensitive VR, desktop workarounds like virtual memory and swapping with unpredicable performance drops are problematic. So Meta set a hard limit of three parallel apps. You don't really need windows management for three windows. Navigating to a window/app placed somewhere in 3D might even be a little slower, and a fixed layout of side-by-side windows somewhat conceals the three apps limit by resembling a fully utilized ultrawide display.

        The Pro with twice the RAM of Quest 2 would have boosted Quest multitasking, but tanked, and with it Meta's attempt to reach beyond gaming. They still need to get there, announced a Spatial SDK and Lifestyle apps fund for tools, and of course AVP put XR productivity use into the spotlight. So we'll probably see more multitasking improvements, already planned, but pushed back as Quest 2 wasn't well equipped for it and mostly ran games. A mix of Quest 3, Spatial/Volumetric/lifestyle apps, upcoming Horizon OS and AndroidXR HMDs, AVP and more now put it back on track.

  • ViRGiN

    Meta playing catch-up…

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Hm… as pointed out several times before, also by @christianschildwaechter:disqus below: work on these features typically takes quite a bit of time and started way before the AVP was out. The worst you could say is that AVP forced Meta to actually bring those features to their platform…
      The real question is: would anybody want to work on the Quest 3 like that? Even the AVP with it's arguably better screen may not have a solid use case. Without a strong set of apps, Meta's case maybe even more difficult at this stage. With a next set with even better display and AR and better integration of Office tools in the UI, this could become more interesting.

      • ViRGiN

        don't feed the trolls

        but yeah, for scott, every feature from now on will be copied from apple

        • Ivan

          Concerning the feature to place screens placement around your physical environment, you could say both Apple and Meta it from HoloLens 1 from 2016.

          Every company copies features (hopefully the good ones) from others, just look back at Apple copying from Xerox and Microsoft from Apple in the 80s with their operating system's GUI. XR headsets are just the latest platform to copy features from others on.

      • Stephen Bard

        I have found that the Quest 3 is plenty comfortable enough (with the right headstrap) and of crisp enough resolution to do all sorts of internet "stuff" for several hours every day.

    • John Grimoldy

      Playing catch-up with who? Apple? Ha! You mean the product that has no external controllers? The one that has an external battery? The one that costs the same as a used car? The catch up game is the other way around. Apple is the company with a first gen product.

      • ViRGiN

        that is an imposter

  • Well, it was about time

  • Dennis Tman

    Would be nice to have link improvements

  • Stephen Bard

    I had hoped that the existing 3-curved-connected-window format would be supplemented with 3 "positionable" windows, but it appears that you can only add the positionable windows to the "shrink-view" flatter format.

  • Stephen Bard

    I had hoped that the existing 3-curved-connected-window format would be supplemented with 3 "positionable" windows, but it appears that you can only add the positionable windows to the "shrink-view" flatter format.