We might have now within our midst the true blue standalone virtual reality (VR) headset for the masses. We are referring to the Oculus Go, which was launched at the Facebook F8 Conference a couple of months back. Mark Zuckerberg calls it “the easiest way to access VR”, and he might be right. The Oculus Go cuts the wires that limited its big brother – the Oculus Rift – but it’s not dependent on your smartphone either. It might not be perfect, but it has competent specs, and might be more affordable than its competitors.
The Oculus Go has a 5.5-inch display panel with a 2560×1440 (538 ppi) resolution, which is pretty impressive at this scale. It is sharp enough to almost eliminate the “screen-door” effect, well… almost. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is a few generations down the line – but is good for keeping the price down and still giving you good VR performance. At USD$199, this is heck cheaper than the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, and even the standalone Lenovo Mirage.
The device runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, but of course, it primarily takes apps from the Oculus Store. Luckily for us, there are good people in the Android developer community who have discovered how to sideload non-Oculus apps to the Oculus Go. Why would you do this? Long story short, sideloading will give you the access to games and apps that aren’t in Oculus as of yet. This means you’ll be able to get all of the cool things that aren’t available for you to download on the Oculus Store right from your headset.
You’re going to have to put in the work, though, as getting to the point where you can sideload will take a number of process, a few downloads, and then some. Reddit user “Colonel_Izzi” discovered that you can actually sideload standard Android Apps to your Oculus Go and launch them from within the Oculus TV app.
Enabling Developer Mode on Oculus Go
In order to get your Oculus Go into developer mode, you will first need to create a developer account on the Oculus website.
- Go to this website and sign into your Oculus account.
- Create a name for your “Organization”.
- Read over the “Developer Non-Disclosure Agreement”.
- If you agree to the terms, check the box and press “I Agree.”
This will allow debugging on your Oculus Go after you turn the Developer Mode options on by following the instructions below.
- Open the Oculus app on your phone.
- Select settings from the bottom right.
- Select your Oculus Go headset.
- Select “More Settings”.
- Toggle Developer Mode on.
Installing Oculus Go ADB files on your computer
Yes, you will need a laptop or a desktop to do this part of the process.
- Download your ADB Oculus Go drivers here.
- Go into your device manager on your computer.
- When you connect your Oculus Go it will show up on the list.
- Right click on your Oculus Go click the option that says “Update driver.”‘
- Click, “Browse my computer for driver software.”
- Click the option to send it to a folder yourself and select the folder where your downloaded ADB driver is.
- Select the downloaded file and it will automatically update the driver.
- Check to make sure you have you ADB connected by typing this command prompt into your computer, “adb devices”.
- If the device code pops up into your command prompt this shows that the adb can see the device and you can move onto using Vysor.
Using the Vysor app with Oculus Go
We will use the Vysor app to mirrror the screen of your Oculus Go onto your computer. This allows you you to work the controls when your Go controller isn’t working – for whatever reason. Alternatively, it can allow the option of screen captures and more by controls on your computer when it’s locked on your actual device.
- Download the Vysor app here.
- Make sure your Oculus Go is plugged into your computer via USB port and your debugging option is still enabled.
- Press the gears icon above settings.
- Check to make sure it’s showing the details of your Oculus Go and press “Connect”.
A second screen will now appear on your computer, showing you what your Oculus Go is currently seeing. From here you can use your computer mouse to control everything in the Oculus Go. This will help with the compatibility issues in your standard Android apps you’re looking to use inside of Oculus TV.
Downloading APK files and installing them onto your Oculus Go
This part takes a whole lot of learning and effort to do. Fortunately for us, Android Central has a whole tutorial for sideloading your apps. You can access that process here. Make sure you follow all the instructions.
After your apps are sideloaded, you can now use your normal Oculus Go controller to launch the Oculus TV app and select which app from the “Unknown Sources” section you want to use. From there, if you experience any controller issues, you can move use your mouse on the computer via the Vysor app to control what is going on in your Oculus Go.
SOURCE: Android Central