Facebook’s Bosworth Discusses Store Restrictions And Virtual Desktop

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In another one of his Instagram AMAs, Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth discussed the status of Virtual Desktop’s pending App Lab submission and the requirements surrounding Oculus Store content.

Bosworth acknowledged the Virtual Desktop submission is still pending, but expanded a bit more on the context behind Oculus Store content.

Here’s a full transcription of what he said in response to a question on the status of Virtual Desktop’s App Lab submission:

“Yeah as you probably heard from Guy on Twitter, they’ve submitted the app for review. I actually don’t know the status of it yet but that’s still kind of ongoing so I don’t know that. But I do want to take this opportunity to address the broader thinking behind the store and App Lab and restrictions there.

Virtual reality is new and we want to take it mainstream. What we found is that people would try virtual reality once and if they had a bad experience, they would not be so easy to get back and try it again. So it was very important to us that when people tried virtual reality in Quest, they had a great experience.

I would say our approach appears to have paid off. Certainly relative to Go or Gear VR, we’re seeing a lot more return customers. Of course, it’s a better product, but it has a real cost – that means a lot of developers who had great content (which is doing very well, for example, on SideQuest) didn’t make it into the store, which sucks.

Developers are our life blood so, obviously having had a success, we feel like we’re in a good position with consumers [and] breaking mainstream, we’re now trying to release those constraints that we put in place, and the App Lab is just the first step in that path.

To bring this full circle, one of the challenges with Virtual Desktop is that we can’t know what your wi-fi connection is like or how it changes, and so we couldn’t guarantee a good experience, and that was why we had limitations on apps like this shipping in the store.”

While Virtual Desktop is available on the Oculus Store, a patch can be applied through sideloading and SideQuest that allows users with a strong local wi-fi connection to play PC VR games wirelessly on their Quest.  Developer Guy Godin has submitted this version of the app for App Lab approval, which would significantly lower the difficulty of installing the patch for users.

For more information on App Lab, check out our guide how to find and install App Lab apps.

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