Google Daydream

Initial Google Daydream thoughts:

  • Best mobile VR experience yet. The remote really helps.
  • While the remote is good, it has a bad case of drift and you have to correct it often.
  • The install process is cumbersome. In the Apple ecosystem, everything is done for you — with Daydream, you have to update everything, which takes a while. Took me about a half hour in total.
  • There aren’t many apps. I haven’t tried the gaming stuff, but the video stuff is great. Netflix and YouTube are both great in VR.
  • I spent about an hour watching Netflix and YouTube, and I ended up with marks on my face. It’s not that comfortable for super-long periods of time. The phone I was using (Pixel XL) also got super hot. Surprisingly, the battery life was pretty solid.
  • I worry about the effects of staring at a screen for a long time. Netflix VR was designed so you can consume content in VR for extended periods of time, but when you watch the content, aren’t your eyes focused on a super small, super close-up part of the screen? I got concerned that I was just staring cross-eyed at the screen, which no doubt would have terrible effects on my eyesight if I were to do this often.
  • Having to enter and exit VR to give permissions and mess with the phone is annoying. Would be nice to just do it in-app.
  • The only way to access VR content is via the Daydream app. Once installed, a separate icon appears (think Netflix app and Netflix VR app — two separate apps, but same content). There should be a way to easily launch into a VR version of an app that doesn’t require opening up something else.
  • The light leakage at the bottom of the Daydream is severe. Sure, it was designed to fit all kinds of schnozzes, but it reduces presence.

I’m excited to see where this goes — now that the platform is opening up and there are more Daydream-supported phones, I can’t wait to see what developers build.