As the tech world waits to see what VR stuff Google shows off at its I/O conference later this week, today, the company snuck in an update to YouTube for iOS that allows you to view any video in VR mode on Cardboard.
YouTube’s Android app has had full Cardboard support since November, but iPhone users have been sorely out of luck. With today’s release, iOS users can now tap the icon in the top-right of any video to get the option to view it in VR mode.
This is huge news for mobile VR as YouTube essentially just opened up what is likely the largest iOS virtual reality content library.
Now, something to keep in mind is that this new functionality doesn’t magically turn regular YouTube videos into 360-degree content or anything, in Cardboard mode you’re basically watching the video in theater mode. 360 content looks awesome in Cardboard mode though and gives you the immersive 360 experience that you can’t get in “magic window” mode.
As rumors continue to flurry around the Android VR headset that Google is reportedly launching this week, this release proves that whatever comes, the Cardboard platform is likely going to continue to be a major part of the company’s future mobile VR strategy.