Meta is testing end-to-end encryption in Quest’s VR Messenger app, the company announced in a blog post. With the rollout of this test, the company is launching optional end-to-end encryption for Messenger’s one-on-one messages and calls in VR. The test is rolling out as part of the new v40 software update. It’s unclear how many people will get access to the test feature or how users can opt into it.
“Whether you’re telling mom about your wedding plans, talking Echo VR strategy with friends, or discussing confidential work projects, you can add an extra layer of privacy and security to your personal chats with our industry-leading technology,” the company said in the blog post.
It’s not surprising that Meta is bringing end-to-end encryption to VR, especially since it’s working to eventually bring it to all of its services. Although there isn’t an exact timeline on when this will happen, it was revealed last November that Meta is delaying the rollout of end-to-end encryption across all its services until “sometime in 2023.”
The test arrives alongside a few other features, including a new “Mono Audio” feature that enables users to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers in their headset versus the default spatial audio effect. Meta is also allowing users to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels. For example, if you hear better in your right ear, you can adjust the balance toward the left to help balance the sound out. You can find the Mono Audio and Audio Balance options in the Accessibility tab in the Settings menu.
There’s also a new App Unlock feature that allows users to put specific games and apps behind an unlock pattern. For example, once an app is locked, you’ll need to input your pattern every time you want to unlock and launch it. The new feature can be used to ensure that children can only access age-appropriate games. Prior to this feature, you could only lock an entire headset behind a pattern. Meta says this feature will be a starting point for parents, as it begins rolling out its parental supervision tools in the coming months.
With v40, users are also able to make payments with a 3DS-enabled credit card in VR, including the 3DS authorization step. Previously, 3DS authorization could only happen in the Oculus mobile app. The new software update also enables support for the Apple Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad, the Logitech K375s and the Logitech MX Keys.