Samsung launches web browser for Gear VR
By Staff Writer
Samsung is launching a web browser for its virtual reality headset Gear VR in beta version called "Samsung Internet for Gear VR".
The app allows the users to enjoy contents in Gear VR without having to download them into their smartphones. The users will no longer need a dedicated app that is available through a website to access the contents, including YouTube videos.
Samsung's Vice President of Product Strategy Team, IT & Mobile Communications Chan Woo Park stated in Samsung Newsroom that Samsung Internet for GR further enriches the VR content ecosystem for consumers as the demand for 360 degrees immersive video content rises rapidly.
Samsung Internet for Gear VR supports both 360 degree and 3D video streaming. It also supports any HTML5 video from the web.
The app also provides voice recognition and on-screen keyboards for easier text input. However, according to The Verge, the feature is common in VR experience. Other headset VR app like Netflix's Gear VR app already uses an on-screen keyboard.
Samsung Internet for Gear VR also features Gaze Mode that allows the users to select menus by simply gazing at them. And the gaze-based menu selection is common in VR apps and games.
According to TechCrunch, Samsung Internet for Gear VR's "Gaze Mode" is actually helpful, but it will automatically click on the link that a user looks at for just a second even when they didn't want open that link.
The feature is also disturbing when the users try to read something with a lot of hyperlinks. It may automatically open the links even when the users don't want to go to the linked page.
Samsung Internet for Gear VR features voice search feature provided by Google. It can also import bookmarks from Samsung Internet for Android, the smartphone's web browser. The app also features Quick access, Bookmarks, and Tab Manager for more familiar web browsing experience.
The app offers few sites to get started with in default bookmarks including Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Youtube. The browsing window on Samsung Internet for Gear VR is said to be a little small and its not sure if the users are able to resize it. But it offers "zoom" feature, although some users may prefer not to use it.
Samsung Internet for Gear VR is available for download in the Oculus Store starting on Dec 2. The app is compatible with Samsung devices including Galaxy S6, Galaxy 6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note4 and Galaxy Note5 with Gear VR.