VR has taken the world by storm over the last few years. It has become so prevalent that even most android phones can run VR apps without a hitch. With all the big tech companies looking to capitalize on this burgeoning industry hundreds of apps are now flooding the market. But with phones only having so much space for downloads there has never been a better time to determine which 8 VR player apps for android are actually worth installing.
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Youtube has been at the forefront of video technology for many years now. It is no surprise that they offer a robust VR video experience as well. There are tons of videos uploaded each day that take full advantage of a 360-degree viewing angle.
It is also possible to watch all standard videos in VR. The quality of this feature varies as different types of content work better than others. For instance, nature documentaries are music videos look stunning in the format while vlogs tend to look exactly the same as their 2D counterparts.
The spatial audio feature is excellent and allows the user to experience depth and distance depending on where they are looking. There is also the ability to lean back while keeping the viewing angle center. This is very relaxing when laying down after a long day.
One point of contention for Youtube VR is the inclusion of intrusive ads on the free membership plan. Pop-ups don’t translate well to VR and it can completely ruin the immersion. It is recommended that anyone using Youtube VR pay for a premium account to get the best experience.
This flagship app by Google is a great showcase of what VR can do. It is easy to browse videos stored on the phone and view them in a full 360-degree display. Native VR content looks the best in this mode but standard videos can pop as well.
What makes cardboard unique is the ability to go on virtual tours of beautiful tourist destinations and recreations of historical landmarks. The local guide feature directs the viewer to look at the most interesting sights but it is also possible to explore without any guidance or direction.
There is a solid directory of VR apps and tours that makes finding new content very easy. While the app hasn’t been updated by Google in a while, new content from creators all around the world is still being released regularly. This is definitely one to keep an eye on as VR grabs hold of a larger market share in the future.
VLC has been a go-to source for watching videos for well over a decade now. It became famous by allowing users to view media no matter which codec was required. This simplicity has been carried on to the VR generation as well.
The beta version of the app can be found on Google Play and offers some of the most comprehensive VR support despite not being fully released just yet. It enables users to rip video straight from DVDs and watch it with ease. Live streams are also supported by simply entering the URL of any current broadcast.
The 360-degree video looks awesome and it is easy to start watching a library of content due to how seamlessly VLC integrates all manner of video codecs. Once mastered, there is no limit to what someone can watch in VR with this app.
Anyone who wants to take their Netflix and chilling to the next level would do well to check out the VR app. It allows subscribers to watch all of the content available on the traditional Netflix platform and even includes a few exclusive 360-degree videos. Many Netflix originals are also being shot with VR in mind so the product offering only continues to expand over time.
Users can enjoy two different viewing modes when they log in. There is the void mode which allows viewers to watch their favorite films and TV shows in 480p and no background. There is also a living room mode which creates a virtual cozy room complete with TV and theater lighting.
While the living room feature is cool at first most users will probably disable it after a couple of viewing sessions. The picture quality is better in void mode and naturally, everything is bigger and easy to see. It is still a neat feature and other apps will no doubt attempt to create more interesting background locations.
There is currently no additional cost to watching Netflix in VR but that may change down the road. Once 4K was popular enough, Netflix began to charge a premium. It would only make sense that they would capitalize on the growing VR market at some point too.
This highly unique app has set out to change the future of Television. It offers a cinematic storytelling experience that is exclusive to VR. Viewers take the perspective of a private detective as she solves a series of increasingly tense mysteries.
This app is highly immersive and really makes the user feel as though they are a part of the action. It can suck up hours of time and it is recommended that viewers set an alarm in order to keep track of time. This is a testament to the quality of the experience but could prove to be a hassle for some.
Even though it only plays the one show currently, VR Noir is well worth anyone’s time. It is easy to see a future where this type of storytelling really takes off and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see more apps like this flood the market.
VR Gesture Player
As the name implies, this VR app is controlled entirely through gestures. This may sound kind of minor at first but results in a truly immersive and realistic experience that all VR owners should check out at least once. Browsing through menus and controlling video playback is a snap with the intuitive interface.
It supports both 3D and top-down video display modes which give users lots of freedom when choosing what to watch. It is possible to watch videos stored on the device or turn to websites like YouTube in order to find something. Both methods worked well and Youtube videos are especially fun to gesture through.
It is worth noting however that the app does require both accelerometer and gyro support. Anyone with a phone that doesn’t include these sensors will be out of luck when trying to browse through different selections. Luckily, a majority of modern devices offer both so it should only affect a very small percentage of users.
This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a simple user interface without all the fluff. With just a single tap, users can choose from a wide variety of projection types such as dome, cube, and standard 360-degree angles.
There is also the ability to view content through a fisheye lens. This is a pretty unique feature that is hard to find on other applications. It significantly reduces the strain on the eyes when viewing VR footage for extended periods of time. It can be difficult to go back to other VR players afterward because of the noticeable difference.
Another solid feature is the ability to change subtitle size. This is great for those who are hard of hearing or like to enjoy foreign content. All of this can be attained through the free version of VRTV. The paid version offers additional features that further enhance the viewing experience.
VRTV supports the latest cardboard SDK which means creators can make content the most advanced tools available on the platform. VR is still constantly evolving and it is always fun to see what developers create with all the newest updates. It is possible to sort by upload dates to ensure that the most recent uploads are easy to find.
AAA VR Cinema App for Android
The VR Cinema app is closing this roundup of best VR player apps for android phones! I’ts an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t have a gyro sensor on their phone. The head tracking technology eliminates the need for a gyro sensor by accurately recreating the drift caused by head movements. Both 3D and 2D videos are supported and playback is smooth.
The share button functionality is also rather interesting. With just one tap, users can play videos they have taken themselves. Connecting to the gallery is easy and the videos work without a hitch. There are no length limitations either so users can watch full-length movies without worrying about crashes.
The display size can also be customized in the middle of video playback. There is a slider that ranges from 10 to 170 which lets anyone match the size of their phone. The Network Attached Storage support allows for simple transfer of video between devices which is great for anyone who regularly upgrades their phone.
Each of these apps is worth checking out in their own right. They all showcase the exciting future that is VR in their own unique ways. For instance, VLC offers the most flexibility in what video formats can be used whereas VRTV offers the most robust collection of features currently available.
Those without a gyro sensor should avoid VR Gesture Player since it won’t run properly. Other than that, every VR fan with an android device should download all of these apps and see which ones work best for them.