Hulu was a launch partner for Google’s Android-based Daydream VR platform in 2016. But as Variety noted today, the streaming service no longer supports Daydream. Hulu’s website states that support was dropped in a July update, although people with older versions of the app can still access the VR experience.
This is part of a long decline for the Daydream platform. HBO, another early partner, dropped support in January. Google Play Movies & TV also stopped supporting Daydream in mid-2019. (The Netflix VR app remains available through Google Play.) Hulu’s website still lists support for most other VR platforms, including Sony’s PlayStation VR, Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality, and multiple Oculus headsets. So there are still plenty of places to access its 360-degree videos alongside the normal 2D content.
If you’re buying a new phone, this might not affect you — because as Variety also pointed out, Google doesn’t list any 2019 phones as Daydream-compatible. The midrange Google Pixel 3A didn’t support Daydream, and Samsung stopped supporting it after the Galaxy S9 line of phones. Google didn’t immediately respond to an email asking whether any phones released this year would run Daydream.
Phone-based mobile VR in general hasn’t gotten much attention lately. Samsung’s latest phone, the Note 10, also dropped support for Samsung’s own Gear VR mobile headset. Standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go have offered more convenient replacements with fewer compromises. Daydream started moving into this space with Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset, but the device wasn’t very consumer-friendly. The Daydream mobile headset itself is still listed as available through Google’s store and Walmart, but not through any of the other retailers on Google’s site.
Google, meanwhile, has largely moved on to augmented reality — it updated its ARCore mobile platform earlier today, adding a “save button” to store the location of virtual objects in the real world.