MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — YouTube will soon have a much better virtual reality experience.
Google is making a standalone YouTube app for Daydream, the company’s newly-announced Android-based virtual reality platform. Clay Bavor, Google’s head of VR, announced the upcoming app during a session at the company’s I/O developer conference Thursday.
The app will “provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube,” Google says.
The app won’t be available until Daydream launches later this year (Daydream is expected in the fall, though Google hasn’t said whether it will launch with the new YouTube app) but Bavor offered an early look at the new app, which was more immersive than YouTube’s existing virtual reality features.
While YouTube already has limited support for VR videos, the new YouTube VR app will also offer an immersive interface for searching and browsing. The app also has many of the same features the current version of YouTube has, including voice search and playlists.
Any existing YouTube video will be available within the YouTube VR app.
Additionally, YouTube is already working with a few content partners, including BuzzFeed, Tastemade
and the NBA, to create VR-ready experiences for the new app. But the YouTube VR app won’t be limited to 3D content. Any existing YouTube video will be available within the YouTube VR app, including 360-degree videos and YouTube’s catalog of “classic” 2D videos.