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Meta's Horizon Workrooms Overhaul Will Simplify Meeting Setup But Remove A Key Feature

Meta's Horizon Workrooms Overhaul Will Simplify Meeting Setup But Remove A Key Feature

Meta's Horizon Workrooms is getting a major update on May 30.

Workrooms is Meta's collaborative productivity app for Quest headsets. It lets you view your PC monitor inside VR and share your screen with teammates as Meta Avatars in a virtual meeting room. People who don't own a Quest can join via webcam through a web interface or paid Zoom plans.

The app also has a solo Personal Office which gives you free extra monitors, effectively turning your laptop into a triple monitor setup.

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The coming update will remove the virtual whiteboard in meeting rooms, the web-based text chat and file sharing system, and tracked keyboard support.

The whiteboard was a flagship feature of Workrooms. Meta's Touch Pro controllers, which come with Quest Pro or can be bought separately for Quest 2 and 3, even come with pressure-sensitive stylus tips specifically designed for drawing on Workrooms' whiteboard.

Tracked keyboards support removal means you'll no longer be able to see a virtual version of certain keyboards inside VR, but given Workrooms lets you toggle on a passthrough cutout of your desk this shouldn't be a major loss.

The whiteboard was a flagship feature of Workrooms.

In return, the update will address the biggest complaint about Workrooms: the friction in setting up meetings and the inability to do it within the headset.

Currently you have to create a meeting room on the web interface and add others by their Meta account email address. With the new update you'll be able to easily create a meeting inside the headset, then invite people on your friends list or share a joinable link.

Meta is also promising a "more comfortable viewing experience" for screen sharing, improved graphics for the lakeside virtual environment, and the ability to resize and adjust the distance of your virtual monitors in the solo Personal Office. These adjustments will be saved for next time you use the app.

The app's interface, which is currently styled similarly to the old Quest system interface before its late 2022 refresh, also seems to be getting updated to match the current Quest system design language, based on screenshots shared by a Meta Product Manager on Threads.

The Horizon Workrooms overhaul will ship on May 30, according to Meta. Existing users will have until then to download their web chat and files if they want to keep an archive of them, as they'll be deleted when the update goes live.

Workrooms' friction was a major complaint in mainstream reviews of Quest Pro, and Meta seems to be gearing up to improve its productivity and collaboration software well in time for the next headset aimed at professionals. Workrooms also seems primed to eventually be the first app to get support for Codec Avatars, whenever they finally ship.

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