Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform has opened its doors to all and everyone who wants to make an app for it. Previously only a select group of partners could release software for the new mobile VR system, but now anyone can make a submission. It will still need to go through the Play Store’s submission process, but we should begin seeing a lot of new Daydream content in the near future.
Google’s Daydream platform is similar to its previous Google Cardboard, but is built directly into Android 7.1 Nougat, so is entirely compatible with the company’s Play Store. Content released for it so far has been of a high quality, but it was limited. That seems likely to change now that anyone can submit an app for it.
That’s not to say that just anyone can throw up an app and Daydream users will have access to it. Just like any app submitted to the Google Play Store, the developer will need to meet a certain number of requirements (thanks The Verge). Indeed, with the need for high frame rates in virtual reality, Daydream apps may be even harder than other apps to get past the validation process.
Google has released a long list of guidelines for those looking to submit a Daydream application. Apps must have a 360-degree stereo photosphere for showing what the app looks like in use, must have a correct motion intensity level indicator, and must meet all “existing Google Play content policies.” Performance-wise Google mandates that submissions maintain a “consistently high frame rate and sustain low headset motion-to-photon latency.”
Apps must also not cause the smartphone to display a thermal warning after a minimum of 30 minutes of play either.
If you are able to build an app that can hit all of those guidelines, then you’ll need to opt-in to the Daydream distribution platform. Doing so and passing through the selection process will allow the app to be discovered by Daydream users within Google Play VR and Daydream Home.
With the doors now open, we should see a lot of new Daydream VR apps being released to the public in the near future.