While Samsung’s Gear VR has been called “the best virtual device you can buy right now,” one problem its users face is that other than activities such as playing games and watching videos, they’re a bit limited in what they can do. But now, Samsung has announced that owners of the headset will be able to use a new web browser built and optimized specifically for the device, catchily called “Samsung Internet for Gear VR.”
Samsung’s VP Chan-Woo Park said: “As a pioneer in the mobile VR industry, Samsung has continually worked to provide our users with a fully immersive mobile experience in the evolving world of virtual reality. As the demand for 360-degree, immersive video content rapidly rises – Samsung Internet for Gear VR further enriches the VR content ecosystem for our consumers, setting an industry standard for the VR viewing experience.”
Samsung says the browser will allow Gear VR users to “intuitively browse” the internet while supporting 360-degree and 3D video streaming along with HTML5 videos. This means you’ll be able to watch ‘flat’ videos as well as taking advantage of YouTube's VR options.
The browser uses voice recognition and an on-screen keyboard for text input, and Bookmarks can be imported and managed - but only if you use Samsung Internet for Android. One of the more interesting features of the browser is its ‘Gaze Mode,’ which will let you choose menus simply by looking at them.
So if you’re the owner of a Gear VR and one of the Galaxy smartphones it uses - Galaxy S6, S6 edge/edge+, Note 4, or Note 5 – then head over to the Oculus Store to download the Samsung Internet for Gear VR beta.