Months after adding VR support to its Android version of YouTube, Google is bringing the feature to iPhone users. An update to the iOS YouTube app notes that it now comes with Google Cardboard support, a feature that’s been notably absent so far. By selecting the small Cardboard icon under any video, users can either watch a 360-degree video in virtual reality through one of the simple cardboard headsets, or watch any other video on a flat screen in a VR environment, like a big-screen TV.
Outside Samsung’s Gear VR, which supports recent Samsung flagship phones, Google Cardboard is the only way most people will experience mobile virtual reality. At launch, the cheap and disposable headsets worked only with Android phones. But a second version, released in 2015, supported iOS. Currently, both platforms support apps like NYT VR, The New York Times’ VR journalism portal. But unsurprisingly, Google tends to bring new features to Android first.
YouTube remains one of the most natural fits for Cardboard, which is best for relatively short and passive experiences. While Google is rumored to be launching a new “Android VR” platform later this week, bringing support for its streaming video service to iOS suggests that it hasn’t given up on Cardboard yet.