Facebook opens Oculus Store to 2D progressive web apps

Facebook wants to make its Quest 2 headset a productivity device for a new generation of remote workers, but in order to pull that off, it needs apps.

Today, Facebook announced that they’re bringing 2D apps into the Oculus Store for the first time. The new apps, which are based on the Progressive Web App (PWA) industry standard, will allow users to check apps that they would have previously needed to take off their headset and see on their phone.

A handful of 2D apps are available in the Oculus Store as of today, including Facebook, Instagram, Smartsheet and Spike. Other apps on the way include Dropbox, Monday.com, MURAL, My5 (UK), Pluto TV and Slack, the company says.

While the Oculus Store has seen native VR support from a handful of app-makers, maintaining a dedicated virtual reality app is complicated on multiple fronts and has led to apps from companies like Netflix and Hulu seeing very rare updates. Relying on PWAs will make the developer lift significantly lighter and will hopefully lead to broader adoption than Oculus has generally seen from app makers.

The inclusion of 2D apps is part of a broader effort to bring the Quest into the workplace. In August, the company announced an app called Horizon Workrooms, which allowed workers to bring their desktop into VR and communicated in a shared social VR space.