Daydream is Google’s virtual reality platform that is only supported on a handful of phones. While this number will increase in time, not everyone has the money to purchase a brand new phone that fits Google’s strict requirements to be Daydream compatible. Thankfully, a workaround has been found that enables Daydream on any phone running Nougat…

Before we go any further, be aware that there is a reason why your phone isn’t already certified. This has to do with devices not being up to par with Google’s hardware requirements to run Daydream VR. These requirements include your device needing to run 1080p video with consistent 60fps rendering, temperature sensors for the surface of your phone, and much more. By modifying your phone’s code to work with Daydream, you are accepting the risk of potentially damaging your device if anything goes wrong or your handset overheats.

The second thing you need to know is that your phone has to be rooted. For this tutorial, you will be modifying a system file on your Android device. If you are not already rooted, you can head on over to XDA-Developers and check to see if there is a root tutorial for your phone.

Now, before you modify any files, make sure that you’ve downloaded and installed a root explorer application from the Google Play Store. Secondly, head on over to APKMirror and grab the latest Google VR Services and Daydream APKs for your phone. If you need help manually installing these, check out our full tutorial.

How to enable Daydream VR on your Nougat smartphone:

  1. Make sure that your phone running Nougat, is rooted, and that you’ve installed a root explorer application, Google VR Services, and Daydream
  2. Using the root explorer app, navigate to /system/etc/permissions/handheld_core_hardware.xml
  3. Select Edit to modify the “handheld_core_hardware.xml” file
  4. Find the Root Permissions tag and add the following code: <feature name=”” /> <feature name=”android.hardware.vr.high_performance” />
  5. After saving this, reboot your phone
  6. Launch the Daydream application and place your phone in a Daydream VR headset to make sure it is functioning properly

If Daydream is not working on your phone, make sure that you followed all of the above steps perfectly. One typo in the code listed above could cause Daydream to not function properly. Users on Reddit note that if done properly, your phone should install all Daydream updates automatically.

Let us know if you are successful in getting Daydream to run on your Nougat smartphone or if you have run into any problems with it.

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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at Tips are always welcome.