As promised when the hardware is officially released, by the end of 2016, Google had released over 50 Daydream VR apps. Each of these apps were from quality, hand-picked developers who quickly created a much higher quality environment than you could buy for Google Cardboard apps. Volume is still important to achieve, especially when there are developers with VR ideas that people at Google haven’t even considered yet.
With more people buying Daydream View headsets at a discounted price, Google has shifted its focus from quality to quantity, publicly guiding developers on ways to publish Daydream apps.
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Until recently, the only way to get an app in the Playdream part of the Play Store was to work directly with Google. You can still publish a Daydream app on the Play Store, in fact some have already done so, but a partnership was needed to make this app visible to people looking for apps while wearing a headset. This location has now changed and has been replaced with subscription instructions for publishing your app where Daydreamers can see it.
What does this mean for developers? For starters, this means that the app must meet all of Google’s quality criteria for head tracking and the ability to read text without squinting.
Developers also need to make sure their app icon is properly formatted and a photosphere inside the game people are going to be playing should be provided to make it look good everywhere. As long as developers follow these relatively simple rules, their app is added to the Daydream app as a download option.
This is an exciting change for several reasons. First, it allows cardboard developers to more easily port their apps to Daydream and include Daydream Controller support. Second, app categories that Google didn’t support will quickly fill up with more compelling options that will better compete with what you’ll find on the Samsung Gear VR.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this change means Google is ready for Daydream to grow at a rate it can’t support by individually reviewing each app before it’s published.