Google Cardboard Support Finally Comes to YouTube iOS

by Jamie Feltham • May 16th, 2016

Google Cardboard owners with Android smartphones have been enjoying 360 degree YouTube videos in VR for some time, but now iOS fans can finally get in on the action.

As spotted by VR Scout, YouTube has updated its iOS app to include support for the device. Newer iPhones that can run 360 degree content will now find an icon that resembles the device on any compatible video. Tapping this will then duplicate the video’s image, shown side-by-side, allowing you to simply slide your phone into the device or any of the mobile-based HMDs that are housed under the official ‘Works with Google Cardboard’ label and enjoy this footage as if they were there for themselves.

The update comes just days ahead of the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, which is being heavily tipped as a big show for VR in general. While this new support will likely be named-checked during the opening keynote talk, we’re also hoping that the rampant rumours about a brand new HMD from the company that doesn’t rely on a smartphone are also proved to be true. This unannounced device apparently houses all of its processing and tracking on-board, and resembles a more high-end mobile device similar to Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR.

The keynote for I/O takes places on May 18th and, until then, there’s plenty of 360 content on YouTube that you can enjoy. Recently, we’ve highlighted an eye-widening clip of a volcano erupting, and put a spotlight on the first video shot with GoPro’s new consumer-level 360 degree rigs. With iOS now on board, you can be sure that the amount of 360 degree videos on offer will grow at a massive rate in the coming year. With that growth we also hope to see some big advances in the tech, including wider support for stereoscopic 3D and perhaps even positional tracking, allowing users to physically move their heads in videos.

That seems some ways off, though. For now, grab a Cardboard and get your first glimpse of what’s to come in the future.

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