During the Daydream announcement at yesterday’s I/O Keynote, Clay Bavor spoke of how Google is redesigning several of their in-house apps with an interface suited for virtual reality. One of those was YouTube, and now the group has shown off what the YouTube VR app will look in Daydream headset.
There is already a rudimentary YouTube app in Google Cardboard that shares some similarities to the Daydream app, but this app looks like a more polished experience.
The app’s UI pops up in front of the current playing video, and a toolbar along the top has tabs for Home, 360 Video, Subscriptions, and Accounts. Towards the bottom is a progress indicator and play/pause, forward/backwards, and volume buttons. Search is handled primarily through voice and the app will surface personalized discovery recommendations and playlists of VR videos.
All YouTube videos, including regular 16 x 9 videos, will be playable in full 3D due to early investments YouTube has made. In the past year, YouTube has added support for 360-degree video, VR video, and Spatial Audio to the network.
YouTube is addressing VR’s content problem as well by partnering with several creators, including the NBA, BuzzFeed, and Tastemade, to explore ways to tell stories in virtual environments. The lessons learned will be made available to all creators in the future. Creators will also have access to the VR Jump cameras announced at last year’s I/O. YouTube Spaces around the world will be equipped with the VR cameras later this year.
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