Facebook is ending software updates for the Samsung Gear VR. Further, users will no longer be able to access films or download the Oculus Video app.
The Samsung Gear VR is a smartphone-based VR headset. Like Google Cardboard and its plastic derivatives, users slot in their smartphone which acts as the display and computer. Unlike cardboard, however, it features a dedicated gyroscope and accelerometer, and runs the same Oculus mobile platform and store as the Oculus Go.
The first Gear VR was released in late 2014 for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. While labeled an “Innovator Edition,” the product was essentially the first modern consumer VR headset.
Over the years, new versions were released to support the latest Samsung phones. The headset did not change significantly, other than the inclusion of a 3DoF controller from 2017 onward.
No Updates, no films, no new 360 video users
Samsung phones will no longer receive new Gear VR features via Oculus OS updates.
With the end of Samsung Gear VR, it seems the South Korean tech giant is also doing away with its VR video apps as well. The company is ending service for all of its Samsung XR apps across the web. However, this app opens up basically the entire Google Play Store (and Samsung Galaxy Apps Store) to the Gear VR. The UI is basically a nice nature scene with a window for your app or game.
It also manages and monitors Gear S2 / Gear S3 / Gear Sport / Galaxy Watch / Galaxy Watch Active / Galaxy Watch Active2 / Galaxy Watch3 features and applications installed through Galaxy App Store. Use the Galaxy Watch application to set up and manage the following Features: - Connect to and disconnect from a mobile device.
From today, the Oculus Video and Oculus 360 Photos apps will no longer be able to be downloaded on Gear VR. If you already have those apps installed on your phone you can continue to use them, but rented and purchased films will no longer be available. Sratoolkit - How to use SRA Toolkit to blast SRA accessions .... Existing users with purchased films should receive Oculus Store credit “equivalent to the cost you paid for any titles you bought,” according to Facebook. Users should be able to continue to use other film services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Fandango Now, but we should note that some developers who supported Gear VR stopped once it became clear Facebook wasn’t going to update the platform anymore.
The included Oculus Browser will no longer be updated. In Facebook’s own words, this may introduce “an increased security risk, as with using any out-of-date web browser.” At Oculus Connect conferences, the browser has been said to be one of the top used apps on mobile VR.
Samsung’s own Samsung Internet is available on Gear VR, but hasn’t been updated since April 2019. Other third party browsers exist on the store, but with low user ratings.
From September 15, developers will no longer be able to support Gear VR on new apps released to the Oculus Store.
Gear VR was already dead
The announcement won’t be a surprise to those following the Gear VR in months.
At Oculus Connect 6 back in September, Oculus’ then-CTO John Carmack essentially declared the Gear VR dead.
This was prompted by the news that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 would not support VR. The Galaxy S20 followed suit this year, ending Samsung’s support of the platform.
Google’s competing Daydream smartphone VR platform is also essentially dead, with neither the Pixel 3a nor Pixel 4 supporting it and sales of the headset itself ending.
In December the Oculus SDK dropped support for Gear VR, and in January the Unity engine, used to make most VR apps, deprecated support.
Smartphone-based VR created a lot of problems. The time it takes to slot in and out the phone, and the fact the user’s phone is unusable while docked into the headset, makes people less likely to want to use VR on a regular basis. A Gear VR session could also end after a matter of minutes, depending on the device and conditions in which it is used, due to the phone’s processor reaching its thermal limits. Smartphones pack all of their components into an incredibly small space. While Samsung improves its passive cooling design almost every year, there are physical limitations which can’t be overcome packing VR into a device designed first as a phone.
Standalone VR headsets, though, incorporate the screens and computing hardware and are designed for better cooling. Despite standalones having roughly the same graphical limitations as smartphone VR, Carmack claimed that the Oculus Go saw Rift-like retention levels, whereas Gear VR’s was much lower.
Facebook previously stopped production of cables for the original Oculus Rift, leaving many owners with no repair option when it breaks. Oculus Go’s social features were dropped late last year. Facebook said Quest will be supported “for years to come”, but Go looks like it may be on the way out.
This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2020
Samsung Gear S3 & Gear Sport are two most demanding wearables in the world market. The beautiful design with less bezel screen, availability of lots of important apps, smooth Tizen 3.0 software version and long lasting battery makes them clear winner in the smartwatch industry. Compare to Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin and Android Wear watches, Samsung offers lots of customization to its customers. The unique watch faces are the one reason to mention why customers like Samsung smartwatches. The Galaxy App Store has increased 4 times since last two years which is good for users. In the app store customers can get almost all important apps, from entertainment to business and from health & fitness to productivity.
The main apps like Spotify, the biggest music streaming tool is available in the store. Uber, the largest taxi service app and Flipboard, the best news reader apps are available in Galaxy App Store. These days most users uses Samsung Gear S3 & Gear Sport for fitness purpose so today I will provide you list of 10 best health or fitness apps for both gadgets. After the launch of Strava & Tidal app more users are now looking for daily workout guides so below is list of most trusted health or fitness apps for the Gear watches. Some of these apps also works on previous Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. Here is the list of best health or fitness apps in the Galaxy App Store for Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, Classic & Gear Sport smartwatches.
1. S Health
This is one of the best fitness app from Samsung. You can use Samsung Health for many purposes. Track your daily activities right on your wrist, see how many calories you have burned and see how much work you have completed in a day. You can synchronize all your personal data with your smartphones Like Galaxy S10, Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S7 and all Samsung Galaxy A series phones.
It is another best fitness app in store to use in daily activities. You can track and save records of your running. It will show you map and great visualization for better tracking. Connect your device with smart shoes and see every day progress. You can download MapMyRun app from Gear store.
The Endomondo is the app which launched earlier on the Gear smartwatches. At the launch time there was very few options to use but now with the few updates there are many features to use. Track running time and also track heart rate, it will provide all the data in simple format. The Endomondo app will gives you daily challenges to keep you motivated so your health must improve daily.
Read: Xiaomi beats Apple in wearable market growth
4. UA Record
The UA Record is another health app for the Samsung Gear S3 & Gear Sport. You can even sync your data with S Health app right from the app. To sync your data you must login to their account. It will not ask you for account for general purpose, it only ask if you want to share your information with other apps. You can track your daily activities, your calories and even keep record of your nutrition.
The Pear app is must need app on your Samsung smartwatches. The app will teach you daily health activities like, yoga tips and nutrition tips. It will help you with the human voice that will instruct you in easy steps. Wide varieties of fitness plans and tips from world known athletes makes Pear app most important on your wrist. The app is subscription based so to use it you have to subscribe to their app with your email id. The app is worth to have on Samsung Gear S3, Gear Sport & Gear S2 smartwatches.
Also Read: How to use Samsung Pay on Galaxy Watch & Gear S3
Samsung Gear App
6. Always On Heart Rate
Are you serious about the health of your heart? Then see all the important heart related metrics on your Gear S3 and Gear Sport. This app shows your heart rate in beats per minute also the duration in minutes and seconds. It also shows average and maximum heart rate for the last 60 seconds. To optimize your workout you can set maximum limit of heart rate through the settings. While performing workout if your heart rate exceeds the limit, this app will notify you every 2 seconds either through visual, audio and tactile warnings. The app requires no internet or GPS connection to run.
7. Workout Trainer for Gear
The app has been designed to help you to perform exercise from home without any coach. It includes various workout programmes and improved training content support. Whatever the exercise you perform the app guide you through timed, step by step audio and text instructions to complete your target. Workout Trainer app guides you to improve your performance at running, gym and yoga as well as lose weight and gain six packs all through the wrist. The app has thousands workout and programs that will help you to stay on track to achieve your fitness goals.
8. Calorie Counter MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal app helps you to set your daily nutrition goal and achieve them. With this app you can track your daily calories remaining and calories burned as well as carbohydrate, proteins and fat related stat directly from the wrist. The app is immensely helpful to have a glance at your daily nutrition intake to reach the goals. It is your perfect companion to track exercise, steps, nutrition and weight when connected with Android device via bluetooth. This user friendly app let you stay tuned about nutrition goals.
Must Read: Voice in a Can brings Amazon Alexa to the Samsung smartwatches
9. Sleep As Android
Sleep As Android app tracks your sleep movement through your Gear S3 and Gear Sport. The application saves your efforts to carry smartphone to the bed and buy you a peace of mind. To use this app you have to install it from Play Store on the phone. After that you should install Gear Add-on from Play Store. Now go to the Settings and enable smart watch tracking and select the Sleep tracking. After that tap Use smartwatch option. This will let you stay on track with your sleep movements tracking.
10. Heart Rate Graphic
Samsung Gear App Android
As the name of the application suggests it is specially designed to monitor heart rate and display the chart. The latest version of the app added the 60 seconds duration chart option. Now you can choose between 250 seconds or 60 second options just by double tapping on the chart. Heart Rate Graphic accommodates several incredible features like heart rate monitor, graphical chart of heart rate, adjustable heart rate limit as well as audio and vibro alert for the pulse limit. This app allows you to stay tuned about your heart rate and know stat after particular time duration on your wrist.
These are the best 10 fitness or health apps for all Samsung wearables. To download these go to Galaxy Wearable Store and get them. Some apps will sync their data with your smartphone and some will not. There are some apps who will ask you for in app purchases or subscription fee for pro version. It is all upon you to use free services or to go with pro versions. All fitness apps works fine on all three Samsung smartwatches. Do you have any question related these apps? Then ask me in the comments box below and I will try to solve it.
Samsung Galaxy Gear App
Madhav Biradar started his career in technology back in 2011, where he covered mobile & gaming articles. He is an enthusiast in smartphone & wearable gadgets. In his free time, he likes to read about new tech gadgets and watch movies.