Virtual Desktop (2016), the app that lets you view and use your desktop computer in VR, is finally making its way to Oculus Go and Gear VR this week. Once Oculus Quest, the company’s upcoming 6DOF headset, launches next year, a version of the app will be available then too.

Coming to the Oculus Store on November 29th, the mobile version of Virtual Desktop will let you connect your Oculus mobile headset to your computer via WiFi so you can both stream and interact with any program on your desktop.

Virtual Desktop creator Guy Godin says that like the PC version, the mobile version relies on Window’s native touch keyboard for text input, although you can connect Bluetooth mice, keyboards and gamepads to flush out the functionality of the experience. Of course, you can use your single Oculus Go or Gear VR controller to interact with screens like a mouse as well.

Godin further says in a Reddit post that the app’s overall streaming latency is 20ms plus your individual network latency. “I wouldn’t play competitive CS:Go but it’s not bad otherwise. Bluetooth peripherals have a bit more latency because of the bad Android Bluetooth stack but the Go controller is quite good (Oculus wrote their own for it). A wired mouse (with OTG dongle) would probably be the best,” he says.

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For the best streaming quality and latency, Godin suggests connecting to a wired computer via a 5 GHz WiFi router. Users will also be able to connect to up to four computers so you can switch between them on the fly, and also via the Internet so you can connect remotely.

The mobile version does present a few notable limitations at the moment. Since neither Oculus Go or Gear VR has a GPU capable of rendering multiple monitors at high quality, you’ll only be able to stream one monitor at a time, negating a virtual multiple monitor setup. “I will be adding the ability to cycle through your monitors in the near future. Mac support is planned, just don’t know when this will happen however,” Godin says.

Check out the video below for a quick tour of Virtual Desktop for Oculus mobile devices.

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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.
  • Love the mobile support! My ideal platform is a social chat space with collaborative environments and screensharing. A mix between BigScreen and Altspace, and then I’ll be able to handle most of our meetings in VR. This just needs the social support now.

    • Downvote King

      My question is this: when will I finally be able to just view my Android desktop in Gear or Daydream VR? This would be a much more useful, and seemingly easily achieved, feature to me. So many apps on Android don’t have mobile VR counterparts, but being able to just view them “Big Screen” style would be a great.

      • Google is experimenting with this on Daydream!

        • Downvote King

          Cool! Thanks for the link!

      • With a Gear VR you can do it like this:

        There’s also the “hack” of sideloading flat android apps and running them on Oculus Go via Oculus TV, if you want to go down that rabbit hole…

        • Downvote King

          Awesome, thanks Niclas – looking forward to trying the Gear VR solution! I wonder why this isn’t getting more coverage?

          • Well, the whole Gear VR platform feels like an abandoned bastard child now since Oculus released Go, and Samsung seemingly more focused on PCVR and whatever might end up their next mobile VR/AR play. It did get some coverage right after release thougn!

          • Downvote King

            Lol I only have a Gear VR, although there’s supposedly a PSVR Creed/Superhot bundle in the mail from Boxing Day. I haven’t noticed much slowdown of releases on the Gear yet though, there are some titles that are Go only, but most are available on both I believe. I was excited to try Samsung Phonecast, unfortunately the “Labs” section which is supposed to allow use of standard Android apps in VR doesn’t seem to function at the moment, I’ll definitely keep checking in as updates are released though, hopefully they iron this functionality out! Thanks again!

  • oompah

    Why dont they standardize VR & its communication so that ALL vr apps can run on any VR device. Monopoly is killing the tech.

  • cj

    I have a gear vr and I enjoy exploring virtual 3D worlds.

    I don’t get the use of virtual desktop. Why would I want to view low-res 2D visuals in a VR space (probably by myself, wearing a headset)?

    I’d prefer to NOT wear a VR headset and just use real-world displays (TV, monitor, projector, mobile screen) to view 2D content with friends/family.

    Am I missing something?

    • cj

      “With the continued surge toward packing people into co-working spaces like sardines in a can, this virtual desktop actually catching on sounds like a fresh version of hell we haven’t considered yet. Imagine a space slightly wider than your office chair, with a desk just large enough for a keyboard and trackpad or mouse while you stare off into a headset.” lol

    • The point of VR is immersion, and for me this thing with Virtual Desktop is all about a distraction-free way to do productive work (I work in an open office layout co-working space). For others it seems to work great to get more engrossed in regular 2d games – that might or might not be played socially online.

  • Ty Hurd

    Virtual Desktop for the Oculus go is one of only a few must have apps, it’s great. I did a video on it if you’d like to see the environment and get a feel for it before you buy it: