Google Daydream | The VR Platform discontinued by Google

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In order to step in the VR industry, one of the biggest tech-giants, in 2016, Google came up with its VR platform Daydream. The platform was primarily brought into the market to support their mobile VR headset Daydream View.

Daydream debut in the market as the successor of the Google Cardboard platform. The platform was announced by the company in May 2016 and the headset made its advent on November 10, 2016.

But as time passed, the platform didn’t receive positive feedback from its customers and eventually, the platform was discontinued by Google in October 2019.

Hence, the platform covered a very short journey into the market. So, if you are reading about the journey of this platform, then in further readings you will come across its upgradations, compatibility, specifications, and most importantly “its discontinuation” in the market.

Google Daydream | Successor of Google Cardboard

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In 2016, Google launched its next-gen mobile VR headset “Daydream View”. For software purposes, Google developed its own VR platform “Daydream“.

You might be already aware of the fact that Daydream was launched as a successor of Google Cardboard. Cardboard was Google’s first-ever VR low-cost platform which was built for low-end devices.

Through this software, you can run all the VR compatible apps on your headset. The cardboard was an excellent platform for very low-end devices. But, the library of cardboard was limited and you cannot even enjoy VR games with this platform.

To overcome this liability and provide a high level of immersion in mobile VR headsets, Daydream made its advent in the market as the successor of Google Cardboard. Its library was extended to tons of Apps, Games, and a lot more.

However, if you compare Daydream with Viveport, SteamVR, Oculus Store, and PSVR store, it is too a low-cost platform.

If you have used cardboard and Daydream before, then you might be aware of its library too. In today’s scenario, its library is way too small.

The library was not even equivalent to that of Gear VR and Oculus Go. Hence, this was the prime most reason for the failure of Daydream in the VR market.

MUST-READ: What is Google ARCore?

Software Support of Google Daydream

Daydream works on Android Devices which has minimum support of Android 7.1 and basic tracking sensors. As you read, the requirement is quite minimal.

Daydream was available on compatible Android devices with the release of Android Nougat (7.1). Moreover, in its further upgradations, Daydream included “sustained performance mode”. This mode helped the VR apps to sync with the device’s thermal profile.

For a span of 3 months after its release, Daydream only worked with Google’s VR enabled apps. So, you can’t access the other third-party apps.

However, in January 2017, Google opened the Daydream platform for third-party developers. This lead to the expansion of its VR library. But, with this step too, its library never matched the level of Oculus and Vive.

Daydream came up with support for apps such as Google Play Movies & TV, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and YouTube. Hence, you can enjoy your Virtual theatre at your home.

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The varied library of Daydream comes with a number of games belonging to a variety of genres. Moreover, Daydream has its own Standout VR titles. These include:

  • Rez Infinite (Rhythm Shooter Game)
  • Darknet (Hacking Puzzle Game)
  • Keep Talking (Party Puzzle Game)
  • Nobody Explodes (Party Puzzle Game)
  • Dreadhalls (Horror Game)
  • Layers of Fear: Solitude (Horror Game)

But, when you compare most of these games with the titles of Oculus and HTC Vive, sorry, these are nowhere in the competition.

You can say, the Daydream Library is full of simple and cheap games. You cannot even compare the games in the library of Daydream with that of Oculus and PSVR. The Library of Oculus and PSVR has one of the best VR titles in the world.

But, if you are new to the VR industry, have a Pixel smartphone and want to kickstart your VR journey, Daydream is a decent platform.

MUST-READ: What is Apple ARKit?

List of Compatible Devices with Google Daydream

As you already know, Daydream was launched as a flagship VR platform, so its system requirements must also be high. Hence, below is the list of Daydream-compatible devices.

BrandSmartphoneSystem-on-a-chip
Google Pixel and Pixel XL Snapdragon 821
MotorolaMoto ZSnapdragon 820
AsusZenfone ARSnapdragon 821
HuaweiMate 9 ProKirin 960
ZTEAxon 7Snapdragon 820
SamsungGalaxy S8 and S8+ Snapdragon 835
SamsungNote 8Exynos 8895
LGV30 Snapdragon 835
GooglePixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Snapdragon 835
SamsungGalaxy S9 and S9+ Snapdragon 845
SamsungNote 9Exynos 9810
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Snapdragon 845
MotorolaMoto Z Force Snapdragon 835

These all are the devices that were compatible with Daydream software. These devices lie in the flagship range hence they come with very powerful processing speed.

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Moreover, you need to buy an additional VR headset compatible with Daydream software to enjoy your VR experiences.

All the smartphone users whose headsets were compatible with Daydream software were joyed with the launch of the Daydream View headset.

Initially many people went on to buy the Daydream View headset but later on, after using its limited and boring library, most people discouraged the use of Daydream View and the corresponding platform.

MUST-READ: What is Google Cardboard?

Lenovo Mirage Solo: A Survival Move by Google

Most of the flagship smartphones are highly-priced. Moreover, Google was aware of the fact that technical people like us are neither going to buy the Daydream View nor the Pixel smartphone for VR experience.

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Hence, knowing this fact, Google came up in a partnership with Lenovo and launched its first standalone VR headset “Mirage Solo“. The OS and library support was backed by Google (Daydream) and the hardware was developed by Lenovo.

The specifications of the headset were really promising, but the biggest drawback was the Daydream support with the limited library. Moreover, there were major and minor problems with the headset.

Meanwhile, months after the launch of Mirage Solo, Oculus came up with their second and most advanced standalone VR headset “Quest“. The headset is packed with more powerful specifications and comes at very lower prices.

Hence, this declined the demand for Daydream and Mirage Solo in the market.

MUST-READ: Is HTC Viveport Subscription worth it?

This article is not regarding Mirage Solo and its specifications. If you wish to read the complete details of the hardware specifications of Mirage Solo, then you can read it HERE.

Moreover, to read complete software support and specifications, Click Here.

Discontinuation of Google Daydream

With the continued expansion of VR libraries like Oculus Store and Viveport Infinity, Google was not clear about the future of the Daydream platform. Moreover, people like us never encouraged this limited platform.

Besides this, their associate partner Lenovo was receiving tough competition from its competitors and was not able to manage to remain in the competition with its limitations.

Hence, to avoid further financial losses, Google decided to give up its VR venture and come out of this competition. Oculus and Vive still remain uncontested in this industry.

MUST-READ: 11 Standalone VR Headsets you must Consider before buying one.

Daydream was not called-off by Google directly. A series of discontinuation events took place before the complete calling-off of the platform.

Series of Events

  • HBO and Hulu discontinued its support and Daydream apps in 2019.
  • Google discontinued the support and maintenance of the VR library of Google Play Movies.
  • Google announced the discontinuation of the manufacturing of the Daydream View headset.
  • On October 15, 2019, Google announced that neither Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will support Daydream nor the phones launched in 2019 will.
  • Google also announced that the platform will not receive future updates.
  • However, the platform and its apps are still available for usage.

A representative from Google said, “There hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage overtime of the Daydream View headset.”

The spokesperson further commented that the company recognized the potential in smartphone VR but: “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.”

Whatever might the reason be, people at Google knows it better. Moreover, I had given you a complete overview of the Daydream platform. You can easily figure out the reasons for the failure of Daydream.

If you have any doubts regarding Google Daydream or you have any queries regarding anything in the VR industry, you are always welcomed to our VR/AR Discussions forum. Moreover, you can reach us through our social media handles.