Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ recently started getting an update which adds support for Google VR services, which means Daydream support is finally here for what are currently this year’s top flagship Android smartphones. Besides adding two more devices to the support list, these are quite possibly some of the best devices which you could use with Daydream as the screens on both are absolutely gorgeous thanks to the resolution and the type of panel used. Not to mention, both phones come with the Snapdragon 835 processor here in the U.S. and the Exynos 8895 elsewhere, which means both are extremely powerful and more than equipped to handle anything Daydream could throw at them.
This is going to be a big thing for Daydream. The platform was already very promising given Google’s approach and adding more partners, and while the standalone headsets from Lenovo and the HTC Vive team that are set to launch later this year will certainly be great for Daydream as well, the Daydream View headset is much more accessible thanks its low price point, and now that two of the best smartphones on the market can use it, Daydream VR is certainly going to get a big boost, at least it should.
Sure, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ could already use Samsung’s own Gear VR, but there are bound to be some customers who would either rather have the Daydream View or perhaps want both, as there are going to be exclusives. In fact there already are apps for Daydream which you can’t get on the Gear VR. One such app, or game rather, is Gunjack 2: End of Shift. This is a highly visual experience, building off the success of the original Gunjack game (which surprisingly is available for Gear VR, making it strange that the sequel didn’t launch for the platform as well), while also offering lots of action and excitement that just has to be played to really understand the full scope of how much fun it is, and how much it really displays what Daydream is capable of. It’s this kind of content which is going to make Daydream a platform to be reckoned with in the mobile VR space, but even with the best possible content that one could hope to get their hands on, it all means nothing if there aren’t enough devices to use with it. While there is no guarantee that it will look better on something like the Galaxy S8+ than the Pixel XL, it’s possible, and now owners of Samsung’s latest will have the chance to play this beautiful game.
Another thing to consider is that while the Pixel and Pixel XL are fantastic phones in their own right, there’s no denying the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, and having the two most popular Android devices on the compatibility list is due to make the platform stand out more than it ever did in the past. It also serves as a marker that Daydream is only continuing to grow. If it was more trouble than it was worth Google likely wouldn’t have taken the time or put in the effort to add either of these phones to the list of supported devices for Daydream, but since it did, that should mean Daydream is doing well, and consumers who are thinking about getting the Daydream View or already have one can likely look forward to lots of awesome new content in the future. This could also be great for developers. Those developing games for the Gear VR to be used specifically with Samsung’s newest Galaxy S devices, now have a reason to develop for Daydream if they weren’t already planning to do so, and of course, if that ends up happening that means even more content for Daydream users. Developers get more reach and customer engagement, and customers get more stuff to use and play with, so it could be a win-win situation for all involved. That being said, none of this actually means that Daydream is going to see a significant lift in popularity now that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are compatible with the platform, but it certainly won’t hurt the platform either.