On its blog, Oculus announced the rollout of the v25 software update to Oculus Quest headsets. The most exciting part of the update is App Lab, a new app distribution platform that makes it possible for Oculus users to enjoy innovative VR apps that are not polished enough to make it to the Oculus Store.
Prior to the update, Oculus Quest users accessed content that wasn’t yet available on the Oculus Store using SideQuest, a third-party app distribution platform that requires Oculus Quest users to enable Developer Mode on their VR headsets and perform a one-time setup step with USB debugging turned on, a technique known as sideloading.
App Lab does away with sideloading in exchange for an experience that’s much closer to what Oculus Quest users are already familiar with from the Oculus Store, making a whole heap of exciting VR content available to those who are not comfortable with SideQuest.
In the official announcement, Oculus provided a list of titles available at launch:
- Ancient Dungeon Beta by ErThu
- Baby Hands by Chicken Waffle
- Crisis VRigade and Crisis VRigade 2 by Sumalab
- Deisim by Myron Software
- Descent Alps – Demo by Sutur
- Gym Class by IRL Studios Inc
- MarineVerse Cup by MarineVerse
- Puzzling Places – Beta by realities.io Inc
- Spark AR Player by Facebook
- Smash Drums Demo by PotamWorks
- Zoe by apelab
Besides the new app distribution platform, the v25 software update also introduces Messenger for users who have logged in to Quest and Quest 2 using their Facebook account.
Messenger supports three input methods (typing, pre-written messages, and text-to-speech), and users can sign in and out at any time, which is guaranteed to be useful when sharing a single headset with multiple people.
If you can’t wait to try App Lab or Messenger on your own headset, then you should know that Oculus is rolling out the v25 software update gradually, so you might have to wait a bit before it reaches you.