In brief: It appears that the slow demise of phone-based VR is continuing after streaming service Hulu dropped support for Google's Android-based Daydream platform.
Hulu’s website notes that support for Daydream came to an end with the release of v3.55 of the app back in July. Those running version 3.54.1 or older, however, can still access Hulu’s virtual reality experience on Google’s VR platform.
As reported by Variety, Hulu was one of Google’s original launch partners when Daydream arrived back in 2016. It allowed users to access its entire catalog within the virtual reality confines of a theatre setting and also offered a selection of 360-degree content.
While Daydream support has come to an end, the Hulu VR app is still available on PlayStation VR, Oculus Go and Rift, and other headsets. Even the Samsung Gear VR is still supported, for now.
Hulu isn’t the first to disassociate itself from Daydream. HBO, another launch partner, dropped Daydream support from its apps in January, and it seems even Google isn’t supporting its platform, having discontinued Google Play Movies for Daydream in June.
Once seen as the next big thing in tech, phone-based VR has been on the decline in recent times. Google announced that its budget Pixel 3a line wouldn’t support Daydream, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 isn’t compatible with the company’s Gear VR headset. Additionally, Galaxy S10 phones and the Galaxy Note 9 require an adapter to work with the Gear VR.
Although these types of headsets might be falling out of favor, virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t going away—as shown by the recent release of the well-reviewed Vive Cosmos.