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Google Daydream was released earlier today and according to Google, the only way to use it is with a compatible phone and a Daydream View headset.  They won’t be happy to hear that just a few hours later, we managed to launch it on the Nexus 6P, outside the headset.  We are proud to be the first to show it’s working, although you should not expect the same performances as with the Pixel phones.  This opens up the possibility to have the platform on unsupported devices that runs android 7.0 and over.

First, you need a phone with Nougat installed. If you are on an older version than 7.0, you will be out of luck as you won’t be able to install the latest Google VR Services.  Although it’s currently only available for the Pixel, Pixel XL and Nexus 6P on the Play Store, there is way to get it installed on other Nougat devices and it seems to benefit from Cardboard improvements as well.  On the LG V20 phone we had no problem getting the new Google VR Services running.  Improvements were noticed mainly in image latency. the speed between the head movement and the image is still not on par with what the GearVR offers .

Once it is done, the phone is ready to launch Daydream, but as you may or may not know, the headset is a key element on getting Daydream to launch correctly.  At least that is what was believed from Google’s claim.  The headset has a NFC tag that launches Daydream or send you to the install page if it’s not currently installed, and two stubs used to auto align the screen to the center of the headset.  If you have a Daydream headset and controller, then just drop it in to launch it.  Once done, you will be prompted to a few setup and notification screen.  One of those ask you to set up a payment method, and you can’t seem to skip it.  When adding the payment method, it accepts Credit Card, PayPal or Redeem a code.  After that, Daydream is almost ready to launch.

The Daydream Controller will need to be connected as it is the only supported input.  You can get the controller emulator from their Developer page with full instructions on how to set it up. This will require another android phone with all the required sensor to track movements.  If you don’t have a Daydream View, don’t worry, you can still launch

Kudos to our community member Erik Hartley for finding out by himself and made this step by step tutorial on our Facebook page.  To complete this guide, we would just add that for the Nexus 6P, we had to activate Unknown Sources when prompted by the phone.We did not have to do step 4-5, and we did have to find Daydream Keyboard apk as well).  We received it an hour after we figured it out for ourselves.

There are currently just a few phones with Android Nougat and we will try to test as many as possible.  So far, while the LG V20 allowed us to go through all the process, Daydream crashes once we turn on the VR mode (there’s a non VR menu at launch).  Check out our gallery of screenshots taken from a Nexus 6P.

Even though Daydream works without the official Headset, it is still the only way to get a real controller instead of the emulated one.  The experience is only optimal with the controller and the Pixel or Pixel XL, for now.

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Following VR Industry since the 90's, I covered dozen of events and wrote hundreds of blog posts and news articles. Unfortunately, there's not enough of 24 hours in a day to check everything there is to see. That is my only regret.

2 Responses

    • Andre Berthiaume

      We are not able to test that at the moment, but I’m confident, with my background with android phones, that it will without any problem.

      Mh deep understanding of the Google’s API states that the communication is managed by Google VR Services, the first thing needed to be installed and drive Daydream, so it should be able to work as it would with the Pixel.

      Reply

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