A year ago Google stopped selling their DayDream VR headset, and shipped their then flagship Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL without support for the technology, meaning the writing seemed on the virtual walls for low-cost phone-based VR.
Today Google made it official, announcing on their support pages that Android 11 would no longer support DayDream VR, saying:
Daydream service update
Daydream VR software is no longer supported. You may still be able to access the service, but it won’t receive any more software or security updates.
Daydream App support ending with Android 11
Thank you for using Daydream View. The Daydream VR app is no longer supported by Google and may not work properly on some devices running Android 11 or later. Many of the third-party apps and experiences within Daydream may still be available as standalone apps in the Google Play store. We don’t expect users to lose account information or functionality for third-party apps as a result of Daydream no longer being supported by Google.
Last year Google explained:
“There hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users.”
“We saw a lot of potential in smartphone VR—being able to use the smartphone you carry with you everywhere to power an immersive on-the-go experience, but over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution.”
“Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.”
Ironically the cause has been taken up by Facebook’s Oculus Quest headsets, which has solved the issue by offering a dedicated stand-alone solution, showing once again consumers prefer simplicity over cheap and cheerful solutions.