At the Google I/O conference in May, it was announced that support for Google’s Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform would be included in the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones. Though the devices shipped without that support active, recent developments suggests that support is about the be activated.
Observant reporters at Android Police spotted that communications company T-Mobile had added a mention of adding Google Daydream support to a recent changelog on the T-Mobile support page. The changelog appeared after T-Mobile pushed out an update that prevented applications from remapping the Bixby button. Other fixes were also included in the update, under the ‘Enhancements’ section:
“DIGITS update, Qualcomm update for microphone fix, Bixby enhancements, Google Daydream capability, Various system improvements.”
Reporters quickly checked their Samsung S8 phones to see if the update had indeed unlocked Daydream compatibility, but a search of the Google Play Store didn’t turn up the app. A further check involved what is referred to as ‘side-loading’ and involves finding the APK file for the application and installing it manually instead of from the App Store, this can be risky if the app is not from a trusted source.
The results of this second test resulted in a logo and splash screen showing both the Samsung and Daydream logos, but attempting to complete the set-up showed an error message saying ‘Incompatible Phone’.
The experiments done by Android Police seems to show that Google Daydream compatibility is very close to being ready. It’s unclear what else needs to be added, or if it is Google or Samsung who are needed to finish the process. Either way, Samsung S8 owners can expect to enjoy Google Daydream apps very soon.
VRFocus will bring you further news on the Google Daydream and Samsung S8 as it becomes available.