It’s only been a few weeks since we rolled out the Oculus v28 software update, featuring Air Link, 120Hz support, and more. We’ve got another sizable update to talk about today though, with v29 set to begin rolling out gradually in the near future and a few tweaks to the Oculus mobile app as well.
There’s a little something for everyone in here. We’re bringing Multi-User and App Sharing to owners of the original Quest. A new Casting feature will let you superimpose your real-world self over the digital world. And if you’re already using the system-level Infinite Office features, then iOS phone notifications, a new Passthrough environment shortcut, a Files App, and more will help you stay productive with your headset on.
You’ll find details on all that and more below—but remember, we roll these updates out gradually, so don’t worry if you eagerly don your headset after reading and the update’s not ready for you yet. It’s coming!
We introduced Multi-User Accounts and App Sharing to Quest 2 owners in February. With v29, we’re rolling these features out to owners of the original Quest as well. If you need a quick refresher, Multi-User and App Sharing enable you to log into multiple accounts on the same headset, and share supported games across all accounts on a single device. You and your friends can compete for Pistol Whip bragging rights, but you can keep your game progress, achievements, friends lists, and more separate.
And now that applies to Quest and Quest 2 owners. If you need more details on either Multi-User or App Sharing, check out our original blog post.
Rounding out the “Play” section, we’re making it more fun to create and share VR videos with a pair of new features.
First, a much-requested feature: When Casting to Web or Recording, you can now use Quest’s built-in microphone to capture your voice in-the-moment. Whether you’re keeping up a live commentary while playing Red Matter, relaying squad tactics in Onward, or just want everyone to hear you grunting during Gorn, now those moments can be preserved forever alongside the game audio.
We’re also launching a new Casting feature in the Oculus App on iOS. We call it Live Overlay, and it allows you to look like you’re really “in” VR by layering your real-life self over a live shot of whatever you’re seeing in the headset. Just place your phone on a flat surface and aim it at yourself while casting (or enlist a friend to hold the camera), toggle to Live Overlay and hit record to get started. You can even film in selfie mode so you can check out how you look mid-game.
Live Overlay works for any VR apps that support Casting and Recording, and you can record, watch, and share videos you make from within the Oculus App. We’re excited to see what people create with it! Bonus points if you play in-costume—we know you’ve been waiting to break out the waders around family and friends and put in some time with Real VR Fishing. (Note: Live Overlay works on the iPhone XS and newer iPhone models. It will begin rolling out as a test feature to a subset of users with an upcoming Oculus mobile app update, coming soon.)
Enough play. Let’s get down to business. We’re rolling out a bunch of core system-level Infinite Office features with v29 to help you stay productive in VR, first and foremost of which is the ability for iOS users to stay connected without removing their headsets. Enable iOS phone notifications in your Oculus App Settings (on an iPhone 7 or above) and you’ll see your lock screen notifications appear in your headset. Now, when you receive a notification from your favorite mobile app or that text message you’ve been waiting for, you can stay in the know while still maintaining focus on your work in VR — or your Beat Saber session if you’re taking a quick work break.
If you have Multi-User active, your notifications will not be visible to any other account holders signed into the headset, whether friends or colleagues. You can also easily disable this feature from both the Oculus App and the headset Settings at any time.
Don’t fret, Android users! Today’s announcement is iOS only, but Android support is coming soon as well.
With v29 we’re also giving you more access and control over files stored on your headset. An all-new Files App (located in your app library) enables you to access, browse, manage, share, and upload files located on your headset across multiple locations in VR. Whether it’s organizing the photos you snapped in VR of your latest work project in Gravity Sketch or saving and sharing captured gameplay with your friends, we have you covered!
If you've created something you’re particularly proud of, you can now download and upload media files to and from your favorite websites via Browser.
Working in VR shouldn’t cut you off from everything else. Whether it’s pets or just a cup of coffee, there are plenty of distractions in the real world that may require your attention during the day. As part of v29, we’ve added a new Passthrough environment shortcut to quickly give you a view of your surroundings. Look for the Passthrough Home “eye” icon on the Quick Settings menu to toggle between the real and the virtual like a multitasking pro.
Lastly, we wanted to talk about discoverability for a moment. VR has so much potential—to awe, inspire, immerse, to make you burst with joy or empathize with someone’s losses.
But that only happens with great VR content, and it’s on us to support Oculus developers by creating an ecosystem where they can continue building that content. Developers of all sizes are finding success in VR these days, and we’re focused on growing that even further in 2021 and beyond.
Soon we’ll begin testing ads for Oculus content within the Oculus App on mobile. Our goal is to help developers—and the experiences they create, both big and small—be discovered by more people. The Oculus Store includes hundreds of games and apps, and we want to make sure everyone helping us make VR a reality has a chance to find and communicate with fans. For example, a developer who built one of your favorite games could run ads to make sure people can discover a new app or experience they launched.
We want these ads to be relevant to you, because we believe it’s one of the best ways for you to find games and apps you might be interested in. That said, we know trust is crucial here, so we provide tools so that you can manage the information we use to show you ads. You’ll find more details here.
Developer success is important, and a key area we’re hoping to accelerate as VR continues to grow. We’re exploring other ways for people to interact with brands on the Oculus platform, including within the headset, and will keep you updated on what we’re working on.
Phew! That’s it. That’s everything. Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end, we hope you’re excited about all the features coming in v29 and elsewhere. Remember that these updates roll out gradually, so it may be a bit before you see any changes—and as always, stay tuned for more games, updates, and more in the future.