The YouTube app has VR capabilities built right into it. I was surprised to find that I could watch every video on YouTube using Google Cardboard. This doesn’t mean that every video is built for virtual reality. Most videos aren’t.
However, there are several channels that are dedicated to 360 videos. One channel that I took a look at is called Virtual Reality. This channel has a plethora of 360 videos to watch. For example, one video took me to several national parks. The video was created by Google, and it had tour guides take me around. Another video they had put me right next to a herd of elephants. Too bad I couldn’t ride them. IGN also has a virtual reality channel called IGN VR. I watched a really cool video that they made on the history of Mario games.
I recommend checking out YouTube in VR. I think it is better than the dedicated VR app Within. The only thing I didn’t like about the app was that I had to remove the phone from Google Cardboard to pick out a new video.
If you want to watch any video in VR select the three dots in the upper right hand corner, then tap the Google Cardboard icon to begin.
Have you ever wanted to walk on the moon or ride on a rollercoaster from the comfort of your home? Well now you can do both, kind of. Andrew Sasaki has developed some really interesting applications for Google Cardboard. I tried out the following applications: VR Moon, RollerCoaster, VR Flight Simulator for Google Cardboard, VR World for Google Cardboard, VR Horse Simulator for Google Cardboard, and Virtual Reality Vacation for Google Cardboard. Most of the applications were complete rubbish. However, several of the applications were better than I expected. The best application of the bunch was RollerCoaster. It puts you in a virtual roller coaster and it feels pretty awesome. I actually felt a little light headed after the ride. I can’t compare it to riding an actual roller coaster, because I have never been on one before. I also liked the VR Moon application. It gave me a really cool perspective of what it would feel like to walk on the moon. I definitely recommend trying these two apps out if you have Google Cardboard. The other apps were a bit of a mess, but they’re all free. If you want to check them out click here.
The cardboard app is a fantastic demonstration of what Google Cardboard is capable of. It has several really cool demos. The cardboard app consists of the following demos: explorer, exhibit, urban hike, kaleidoscope, and arctic journey. My favorite one was the Arctic journey because it really shows what Google Cardboard can do. It allows you to play, create, learn, and fly. It also looks really nice, and gives you a really spectacular view of the arctic sky. I also liked the explorer demo. It allowed me to look at a dinosaur exhibit, an aviation museum, and a space shuttle. I didn’t care for the kaleidoscope demo; I didn’t think it had much to offer. Overall, the cardboard application has some really nice demos. I can’t wait to see what else Google has in store for us.
Within is a virtual reality application that was founded in 2014. It has a variety of VR videos that can be viewed with a VR headset like Google Cardboard. Some of the videos it features include music videos, documentaries, and shorts. One Republic has a really cool music video that shifts perspectives from one room to another room. Another video, called displaced, shows the struggles that 3 kids go through in Syria. It almost feels like you are there, especially if you are using headphones. It is really cool how all the videos have a 360 perspective. If you don’t have VR you can check them out here. There were some very strange videos as well. One video had a train coming right at you, and then shifted to a baby inside the womb. Another video called Invasion had a little bunny rabbit saving planet Earth. Overall, the VR experience was very fluid; the only thing that was lacking was the quality of the videos. If you are dying to swim with dolphins then I definitely recommend this application.