The Oculus Quest 2 has been a roaring success, with the standalone virtual reality headset offering plenty of performance and visual fidelity at a relatively affordable price – and now the gadget might be about to get even more appealing.
Some digging from @TheMysticle on Twitter has revealed an "Android Apps For Quest" app in the Oculus Store, which apparently ushers in official support for installing some of the most popular and well-known apps on Android.
Android Central got in touch with Oculus owner Facebook to ask if anything was in the pipeline, but apparently Facebook has "nothing to officially share at this time" – which may or may not mean something is in the offing.
What is clear is that the app for installing Android apps isn't available for most users: if Facebook is testing something along these lines, then it looks as though it has only enabled the functionality on a small number of devices at this stage.
This was brought up on our discord today and I just had to check it out to make sure it was real. It sure is! These are under preview apps in the store. The developer name in info is "Android Apps For Quest" and the website seems to be Oculus. Are they finally adding popular apps pic.twitter.com/aUuTuTowLzMay 7, 2021
While you might never have tried it, installing Android apps on an Oculus Quest 2 is actually pretty easy – you just need to sideload them by downloading the APK file from the web, and then using a Windows or Mac computer to make the transfer.
The software underneath the impressive 3D interface that you see when you put the Oculus Quest 2 on your head is actually Android. Apps that you've sideloaded run fine in a floating window that sits in the center of your vision.
In other words, adding support for Android apps wouldn't be a huge technical challenge for the Oculus engineering team. The benefits for users are obvious: you'd be able to check your social media feeds, messaging apps and email without leaving the world of VR.
If and when Facebook makes Android app support on the Oculus Quest 2 official, we'll let you know. In the meantime, it looks as though strong sales of the headset are going to mean that it'll be a while before we see the Oculus Quest 3 make an appearance.