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Pico 4 Gets Official YouTube VR App

Pico 4 now has the official YouTube VR app.

The YouTube VR app originally debuted on Google's own Daydream VR platform (which it killed back in 2019) in 2017.

In the years since, Google also brought YouTube VR to the Oculus Store on Samsung Gear VR in 2018, then Oculus Go later that year, and was a launch title for the Quest Store.

YouTube VR allows you to view all of YouTube’s traditional video content as well as the range of immersive 360° videos available on the platform. While you can also do this in the Pico Browser, the app means you don't have to manually enable 360° viewing mode and has an interface that better takes advantage of the increased virtual screen real estate of spatial computing.

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Because typing in VR is cumbersome, the app provides a voice search function using Google’s high-quality speech recognition technology, the same used in Google Home smart speakers.

Signing in to your Google account lets you view your subscriptions, history, and saved videos.

Shortly after the launch of Quest 2 YouTube VR got support for controller-free hand tracking on Quest headsets, but it requires controllers on Pico 4. We also saw this happen with VRChat, which supports hand tracking on Quest but doesn't on Pico 4 either.

ByteDance: Pico Will Have ‘Top-Notch Services’ After Layoffs
We put big questions to TikTok-owner ByteDance about the future of its Pico headset business. They replied, but we don’t have clear answers.

Despite ByteDance laying off a significant portion of Pico's staff, canceling its own Beat Saber competitor, and handing off what would have been its only major exclusive, third-party developers are continuing to release major content on the Pico platform. That may be the result of agreements long in the works though, so we'll be keeping a close eye on Pico's health through 2024.

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