///iOS / Android / Google Cardboard – Create and Publish Apps for Google Cardboards
iOS / Android / Google Cardboard – Create and Publish Apps for Google Cardboards 2018-01-08T17:59:47+00:00

What are iOS/Android/Google Cardboard VR apps? Do you need a headset to view 360 / VR media? How do you buy a Google Cardboard headset?

Clients can create standalone iOS and Android 360 VR experiences that don’t require a headset. All major iOS/Android smartphones can run InstaVR-generated VR applications.

Using a combination of gyroscope + gaze-based navigation, most modern smartphones can be used either with a VR headset to create an immersive 360 degree experience also. There are many VR headsets that work with iOS/Android, including ones built by Mattel, Merge, Homido, Xiaomi, Carl Zeiss, and more.

Google Cardboard, the most popular and simple VR headset, combines cardboard with lenses, and can be purchased for under $10. Or, if you have a 3D printer, you can make your own Google Cardboard headset. As of early 2017, Google had shipped over 10 million Cardboard headsets.

Why Publish to iOS/Android/Google Cardboard? What Use Case is Google Cardboard Apps Good For?

For mass distribution, the best platform to publish to is iOS or Android. Virtually all smartphone users will be able to view your VR application, even those without a VR headset. Distribution is flexible, with InstaVR enabling publishing either InHouse or through the iTunes/Google Play stores. Your audience can access your application how you want them to: via e-mail invite, through self-distribution, by scanning a QR code, or through the App Stores.

Google Cardboard is good if you’re going to be having a large audience or are on a tight budget. The experience won’t be as immersive Gear VR, Google Daydream, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. However, for novices to virtual reality, they’ll still be very impressed with your Google Cardboard application. And for businesses, the opportunity to brand Google Cardboards with logos gives an extra brand boost.

How Does InstaVR Improve iOS / Android / Google Cardboard Publishing?

Beyond having a simple but robust authoring platform, InstaVR also has a number of features specifically designed for mobile publishing:

  1. Completely drag-and-drop, with no coding required. Saves time and allows non-technical professionals to author mobile apps.
  2. Flexible publishing, including App Store ready packaging. Multiple ways to distribute your apps, including packaging for easy submission to iTunes and Google Play Stores.
  3. Completely white-label, with clients adding their own branding throughout. Custom brand your VR app, including adding personalized mobile app icon & splash image/video.
  4. Live Previewer, displaying work-in-progress apps in native context to allow for more rapid improvements. While you author your VR application, save time and iterate faster by viewing your in-progress app on your mobile device.
  5. Heatmap and Google Analytics data to analyze your mobile app. Post-publishing, review how users interact with your app to improve it in subsequent versions.
  6. Monthly subscription model, allowing for unlimited apps authored. Predictable pricing, with no need to worry about incurred costs for publishing. Subscribe for a month, a few months, or a year!

Read About How Emporia State University Uses InstaVR to Create Learning Applications Distributed to Students via Google Cardboard Headsets

vr in history class

Read the full Emporia State University customer success story.

Emporia State University is embracing VR to improve student engagement in multiple departments. Dr. Anna Catterson, Instructional Designer, introduced InstaVR to the school and has been integral in getting professors excited for the technology.

In their History Department, for example, Dr. Joyce Theirer (pictured above) performs historical reenactments as famous women through US history. The performance, takes place at her farm. The school captured the performance using a 360 camera, and have used InstaVR to distribute it to mobile phone users who can view it on low cost Google Cardboards. This approach allows many students to be immersed in the performance, without them having to actually have been there when the reenactment was done live.

In the Forensic Science department, they used a Samsung Gear 360 to capture a “virtual” crime scene. That crime scene was captured 100s of miles away in Kansas City. But students using Google Cardboards can experience the InstaVR-generated experience to practice their detective skills.

In the Marketing department, students are tasked with using InstaVR themselves to create promotional 360 apps for local businesses. The students show the businesses the benefits of VR on Google Cardboards, then create 360-degree apps for them using InstaVR, and allow the businesses to distribute their apps for iOS and Android.

Dr. Catterson explains, “Because of the ease of InstaVR, there’s really no end to the possibilities of what you can use it for… From start to finish, I’ll bet I haven’t spent more than an hour uploading the content, doing the hotspots, and adding the audio. It’s really quite simple…  It speaks volumes about InstaVR, and how it is used for anybody at any age, any demographic. It has a diversity and inclusion plan built into it. Anybody can use it.”

Pros

  • Works on virtually all smartphones, with or without a headset
  • Easy distribution, either InHouse or through iTunes/Google Play
  • Cost effective, as Google Cardboards can be purchased for < $10

Cons

  • Takes up significant storage space on mobile phones
  • Resolution is limited to 2K on some older smartphones
  • Google Cardboard doesn’t feel as immersive as Gear VR, Google Daydream