It’s summer (here in the northern hemisphere at least) and that means people are headed to the beach and the mountains with plans to soak up sun and maybe read books they’ve been meaning to get to for months now.
But don’t worry if your summer plans look more Vacation Simulator than vacation proper. We’re here, and we’ve got a v31 Oculus software update for you, fresh off the grill. This latest update is all about friends, with two new ways to invite people to play VR games with you, and a few new Messenger features as well. And don’t forget your digital sunblock—we’ve also got some nifty new security features for the safety-conscious, including a new Security Settings panel and the ability to save your Browser passwords.
Read on for more details—and remember, our updates roll out gradually so you might not see it on your headset immediately. It’s coming though!
Playing games together is fun. Figuring out the logistics around playing together is not. We’re adding two features that make it easier to get in-game with your crew—or with whoever’s around. No need to be picky.
First up is a new “Invite to App” button that will soon be supported by a number of apps. Located in the Quest universal menu when you’re in a supported VR app, you can use it to send a pop-up invite notification to friends, people you recently played with, or in-game connections. If they accept, they’ll be whisked right into your multiplayer session—and you can now view and manage the group of people you're playing with right from the universal menu as well and rejoin them if you get separated.
We’ve been testing this with select developers and it will be rolling out soon in Beat Saber, Blaston, Demeo, Echo VR, ForeVR Bowl, Hyper Dash, PokerStars VR, and Topgolf with Pro Putt. The “Invite to App” feature is available to all developers, and we’ll be updating with more information on the APIs to support this feature once the v31 SDK is made available. Keep an eye on the developer blog.
Second, we’re also making it easier for you to set up multiplayer sessions outside the headset. Navigate to the Social tab in the Oculus mobile app on iOS or Android, select the VR app you’re planning a session for (you’ll be able to pick from any supported apps that you have installed), and it will generate a custom Invite Link for you. Send the Invite Link to your friends on Messenger, post it on social, or pay for a billboard next to the highway and print the link in letters ten feet tall. Whatever you’d like. Anyone who has the Invite Link can join in the fun with you, and you can choose how long it’s active depending on your needs.
When you’re ready to start playing, just click the Invite Link, select your headset to launch into, and voila, you’re there in VR with your friends. An upcoming Oculus mobile app update will add Invite Link support to select games, with more to come soon after.
You can still create a Party and play with your friends that way if you’d prefer. We’re just hoping that the “Invite to Game” button and Invite Links will streamline the process for those ad-hoc hangouts.
Messenger on Oculus also gains a few new features with v31. We’re adding Send and Read Receipts, so that it’s easier to keep track of your conversations in VR the way you would on other platforms. We’re also adding Reactions, for those times when responding to friends with a simple “❤️” says more than a thousand words ever could. Just click and hold the trigger on any message to bring up the Reactions menu, and then take your pick.
Arguably the most important addition in v31: A new Security Settings panel. You can set or reset an unlock pattern there (or do it in the Oculus mobile app), and then toggle whether the pattern is required to log in to your headset or access any saved passwords on your device.
Wait, passwords? That’s right, you can now choose to save and autofill your passwords in the Browser as part of v31. No need to rack your brain for login information or fumble with a virtual keyboard—you can now save your passwords for easy access and keep them secure behind your unlock pattern (useful in shared headset situations), or disable the unlock pattern if you prefer.
Passwords remain encrypted on the headset, and of course you can also delete any passwords you no longer want stored. You’ll find more information here.
There you have it, a breezy little update smack dab in the middle of summer. (Or: something to keep you warm this winter, if you’re one of our neighbors to the far south.) The v31 update will roll out gradually, so keep an eye out in the coming weeks—and check back for more Oculus news soon!