On the second day of I/O 2017, which is currently happening in Mountain View, California, Google shared its plans to update Daydream to version 2.0. Codenamed “Euphrates”, the update will make VR more fun and easier to share. Euphrates will be available on all Daydream compatible handsets later this year, including the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and LG’s upcoming flagship smartphone.
The new update brings in a slew of new features. To improve the user interface, the homescreen has been revamped a bit with a new content guide. Also, the dashboard adds the access to settings and notifications. It also gets support for sharing screenshots and video capture.
In addition, Google has also added the cast support, which will allow users to stream the content on the big screen. This is a big step. So,for example, if you are playing a game in virtual reality, the other person in the room will be able to see what you’re seeing. This option has been available on a high-end headset like HTC Vive, but it requires a cord to connect to a TV. Google’s approach is simple: to adopt the wireless future.
The big highlight, of course, is that Google is making a full version of Chrome especially for virtual reality. That means the Chrome web browser will allow users to navigate with a Daydream controller. Additionally, you can experience virtual reality apps that takes advantage of WebVR, or surf the web.
Google is also making it possible to make YouTube user-friendly in virtual reality. The software giant previewed a new feature that will allow users to watch YouTube videos in virtual reality with other people, and have discussions in the same virtual environment.
Google has been working on to make virtual reality accessible to millions of users worldwide. It made an entry into the virtual reality territory with Google Cardboard, and gradually moved up the ladder with Daydream, a VR platform for Android devices that’s built natively into Android Nougat. Later, Google announced its own virtual reality headset, Daydream View. The company says there are currently 8 phones with Daydream support, and more handsets will be added to the growing list from the likes of Motorola and Lenovo.
This week at the annual I/O, Google also announced it’s adding support for standalone headsets that don’t require a smartphone. Google has joined hands with Qualcomm to develop a reference design, and Lenovo and HTC have been roped in to launch a standalone Daydream headset later this year.
Disclaimer: The author is attending Google I/O at the invite of Google India