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. It is designed to have users slot in their smartphone which acts as the display and computer, and features a dedicated gyroscope and accelerometer, and runs the same Oculus mobile platform and store as the Oculus Go.
Over the years, new versions were released to support the latest Samsung phones, but that appears to be changing as Samsung phones will no longer receive new Gear VR features via Oculus OS updates.
Now, 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.
Users should be able to continue to use other film services like Netflix and Prime Video, but when it became clear that the Gear VR wasn’t being supported any more, many devolpers actually jumped ship before this announcement.
This announcement won’t actually be a surprise to those following the Gear VR in months, as at Oculus Connect 6 back in September 2019, 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.