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google cardboard


Google open-sources Cardboard SDK to keep it alive

Long before Google introduced Daydream and subsequently left it dead in the water, the company created the Cardboard platform. You can use the carton headsets as an ultra-low-budget entry to VR to this day, and they're compatible with almost any regularly shaped phone on the market. Google has now open-sourced the underlying VR SDK which will allow interested developers to create their own VR experiences on Cardboard viewers and improve and enhance the project as they see fit.

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Nexus 5X and 6P removed from Google Store, NVIDIA Shield and VR headsets gone too

To make way for the new products announced at today's event, Google has removed several items from their online store. Most notable is the removal of the Nexus 5X and 6P, Google's smartphone lineup from last year, now replaced by the Pixel devices. Also gone from the virtual shelves is the NVIDIA Shield console, still arguably the best Android TV device on the market. The Mattel View-Master VR Starter Pack and Goggle Tech C1-Glass VR Viewer are both removed as well, now that Daydream is the focus of Google's VR efforts. Finally, the Dell Chromebook 13 is gone.

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FOX Sports VR lets you watch games in the dream house you'll never be able to afford

One of the core principles of video games is that they're aspirational: we beat the invincible bad guy and drive hovercraft race cars in lavish fantasy worlds because we can't ever do it in real life. Video games are now so amazing that they're intersecting with the real world in the form of VR, but our aspirations have softened a bit as we've gotten older - now some of those impossible dreams include "owning a really nice house." FOX Sports VR has embraced the death of the American dream by virtualizing that nice house and letting you watch football in it.

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This new $1 app lets you use Cardboard apps on the Samsung Gear VR, no root required

Hecorat, the developer behind some cool apps we love like AZ Screen Recorder and EZ Package Disabler, has released a new app on the Play Store and this one solves an existential problem for all virtual reality fans who own Samsung's Gear VR but also want to try Cardboard apps and games: it lets them do exactly that which Samsung had tried its darndest to forbid.

The problem with Gear VR is that the moment you plug your Galaxy phone into the headset, the Oculus app launches and you can't use any other app until you unplug. This means that launching the Cardboard app, or any Cardboard compatible apps and games, is impossible.

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[Team Coco FTW] Get a free Google Cardboard courtesy of Conan O'Brien (US only)

So you don't live in Australia and couldn't get a free Cardboard viewer from that Optus giveaway a couple of days ago. Maybe you live in the US — actually our Analytics tell us that a nice majority of you do — and you'd like a chance to get your free VR viewer nonetheless. Maybe you're a fan of Conan O'Brien and maybe you've missed that Cardboard giveaway that he did last year. Now's your chance to pounce on your coveted freebie and grab it.

Team Coco is giving away Google Cardboard VR viewers again this July, although the design is different and less playful than last year's orange haired cute avatar.

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Get a free Google Cardboard headset from Optus in Australia

Troye Sivan is a popular singer, actor, and YouTuber in Australia. Regardless of whether or not you know all his songs and the fact that he played young James Howlett in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there's a techie reason you might be interested in this giveaway that he's doing with Australian carrier Optus.

The operator has partnered with Troye to offer a chance to meet him in real life to some lucky winner, but also to design exclusive Google Cardboard headsets to give away so you can watch his 360 YouTube video of a private soundcheck performance from his latest single "Talk Me Down."

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Google's Seventh Spotlight Story, Pearl, Now Available To Watch On YouTube And Cardboard

Fans of the burgeoning art of 360-degree short-form storytelling have probably been enamored by Google's Spotlight Stories, a series of videos designed to highlight the narrative potential of the VR format. The latest one is Pearl, a sort of extended animated music video about a man, his daughter, and the beat-up hatchback car that they share over about 20 years. The short is directed by Patrick Osbourne, and the original song "No Wrong Way Home" was written by Alexis Harte and JJ Weisler and performed by Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz.

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The Google Store Starts Selling Cardboard VR Viewers In Canada, The United Kingdom, France, And Germany

So you've yet to snag a free Google Cardboard VR headset from a trade show. Or a Star Wars promotion. Or a copy of the New York Times, or a late-night talk show host, or even a freakin' porn website. And even when Google started selling Cardboard for actual money, they only did it in the US and not [your country here]. Don't worry: if you lack the skills and/or materials to build one of the ultra-cheap headsets, you can now buy one in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, or Germany.

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Google Introduces Open Source VR View For Easy 360-Degree Photo And Video Embeds On The Web And In Apps

360-degree photos are cool, and they're gaining popularity quickly, but at the moment there's no easy way to get them into web and app content. Google aims to fix that with VR View, a new open-source system for easily embedding 360-degree photos and videos onto web pages and apps, both on Android and iOS. The new system is open source, allowing for (relatively) simple adaptation into a variety of situations. Google made the announcement on its Developers blog.

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Own (Or Have You Ordered) A VR Device?

This weekend's poll isn't explicitly Android-themed, but it is tangentially Android-related. VR is a big thing these days - everyone and their brother seems to be working on or investigating a VR platform. Rumors of Google developing its own full-on standalone VR headset have emerged from reputable sources, making it seem likely that 2016 will mark the dawn of the VR Wars.

Right now, Oculus Rifts are gearing up to ship, free Gear VRs (developed by Oculus and Samsung) are set to ship to likely hundreds of thousands of S7 and S7 edge owners, HTC Vives are up for pre-ordering, LG has its 360 VR headset as a freebie for G5 pre-orders on some carriers, and the low-cost Google Cardboard has proliferated since its announcement at Google I/O almost two years ago.

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