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Meta "Reworking Some Of The Core UI Infrastructure" For 2D Apps On Quest

Meta "Reworking Some Of The Core UI Infrastructure" For 2D Apps On Quest

Meta is "reworking some of the core UI infrastructure" of Quest to improve 2D app positioning & multitasking.

In an ask-me-anything (AMA) session on Instagram on Thursday, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth was asked "Can we expect to see any UX/UI updates to better manage multiple 2D apps/windows?" Here's how Bosworth responded:

"Yeah, absolutely. This is something that long before even [Apple Vision Pro] was on the scene is something we've been looking at and spending some time on, and we have some pretty exciting designs. And really, actually reworking some of the core UI infrastructure to be able to enable a richer environment has been in the works for a while, and we're making good progress.

So the answer is yes. I don't have a timeline for you. It's not super soon. But yeah, it's on the way."

The question comes as Apple Vision Pro launched earlier this month with the ability to easily and freely place as many 2D apps wherever you want in your space. Meta's Quest interface on the other hand has been heavily criticized for its questionable UI and UX.

Currently the Quest system interface supports up to three visible 2D apps at once, and has separate 'modes' you can switch between at any time, Close View and Far View. Close View is primarily designed for directly interacting using your fingers as you would a touchscreen, while Far View is designed for laser pointer control from controllers or hands.

In Close View apps can't be resized and the side apps are attached to the middle app and not angled towards you, meaning viewability is awkward unless you physically strafe to the side. In Far View apps can be resized, but not individually repositioned.

In Close View you can only reposition the entire interface, including the attached apps, while in Far View you can reposition all the apps together separately from the interface, but you still can't individually reposition apps without moving the whole interface.

There are other quirks with Quest's interface too, including the fact that the app launcher is itself a 2D app, so when bringing it up just to launch another app it takes the place of your middle app.

On X today Meta's VP of VR Mark Rabkin gave further comment on Meta's plans for improvements, saying it's "a huge focus for us to improve the whole complex set of interactions with you+hands/screens/room".

Bosworth's response said these improvements aren't coming "super soon", so don't expect anything in the next Quest software update. However, a Marketing Manager for BigBoxVR, a Meta-owned game studio, posted a screen recording to X earlier today showing an Instagram app launching detached from the system interface in Close View, suggesting at least some of the 2D app improvements are already being widely tested.

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