Meta is discontinuing a feature that lets you see notifications from your smartphone while you’re using a Quest VR headset, according to the patch notes for the Quest’s v60 update. The company introduced the ability to see iOS and Android notifications in the headset in 2021.
Meta didn’t elaborate further in the patch notes about why it’s removing the feature, and it’s a shame that it’s doing so. Without those notifications, it’s difficult to know what’s happening on your smartphone when you’re fully immersed in your Quest unless you pull the headset up from your eyes — which forces you to stop what you’re doing on your Quest.
That said, if you have a Quest 3, the headset’s full-color passthrough is good enough to see your smartphone’s screen for lightweight tasks like skimming notifications. But my colleague Adi Robertson said that reading phone screens on the Quest Pro was “virtually impossible,” and in my experience, the Quest 2’s grainy black-and-white passthrough is a terrible way to try and look at your phone.
While it’s disappointing that v60 is taking away a useful feature, the update is adding some good new things, too. There’s a new layout utility app that “helps you spatially measure, align and visualize real world objects directly in your physical space.” Quest profiles will show “information about your shared experiences and connections” when you visit someone’s profile (though you can choose to keep that information private). The Quest Pro’s CPU and GPU will get higher clock speeds when you’re in mixed reality applications, and you can make your cloud backups end-to-end encrypted by adding a PIN.