Google loses Facebook: Daydream platform is shutting down
Google first introduced Daydream in mid-2016 as a platform that will allow users to place a supported smartphone in a headset and use it to display VR content by interacting with it using a controller. This was a step up from the simpler Google Cardboard interface that the company has been developing since 2014, which lacked controller support.
Daydream View Headset, launched for $ 79 in October 2016 makes Daydream one of the cheapest and easiest ways to experience VR, provided you already have a supported smartphone.
A few years later, Google expanded its platform to support standalone VR headsets, but Lenovo was the only company to which ever brought them to the market (and even then it did not last long). After adding support for several new features in late 2018, Google almost stopped talking about Daydream.
Around the same time Lenovo was launching its $ 400 standalone Mirage Solo VR headset, Facebook introduced the $ 199 Oculus Go, which offered a more affordable way to use VR without having to attach a smartphone to the headset.
While Google ditched Daydream, Facebook went ahead. Just last month, the company unveiled the $ 299 Oculus Quest 2, which can work as a standalone VR headset or be used with a PC for more powerful VR experiences. All this makes other VR headsets useless.
Meanwhile, Google and its partners seem to have given up on their dream of conquering the VR market. If you already have a Daydream View headset and a compatible smartphone, you can probably keep using it for a while. Google notes that many third-party apps will continue to be available on the Google Play store and will likely continue to work.
But if you have an older device updated to Android 11, using Daydream can cause problems. And if you’re buying a new Android 11 smartphone, then you shouldn’t wait for official Daydream support.