InstaVR allows clients to author a VR experience once, and then publish to all the major platforms. This is a huge time saver. With no coding or VR experience required, clients can deploy apps to very powerful VR headsets or the mobile phones of 1000s of employees.
Publishing takes only one-click and distribution can often be as simple as sharing a web link. If you’re worried about the learning curve for VR, you shouldn’t be! Human Resources, Learning & Development, Marketing, Sales, and Media professionals are all able to use InstaVR and create apps in hours, not days.
Below, we’ll discuss distribution for the major VR outlets that InstaVR publishes to. We’ll also include some tips and tricks for each. The best way to learn though is to reach out to our sales team for a demo (contact at instavr.co) or sign up for a Free trial on our web site.
Let us know if you have any questions and good luck with your VR projects!
Android is an easy mobile platform to distribute to. Our overall authoring & publishing guide for Android can be found by clicking here. There’s two ways to publish to Android — In-House (self-distribute) or Store (via Google Play). The latter requires an Android Developer Account, which can be procured for less than $100/year, though you will need your app to be approved by Google for publishing on Google Play. Anyone can do self-distribution, and because of Google’s relatively open policy, many of our clients prefer this method over publishing to the Store.
After pressing the Packaging button in InstaVR, we’ll generate an .apk file for you. This is the file type of the apps that run on Android-based phones.
For In-House distribution, you can take that .apk file and host it on your web site, on a file sharing site (ie Dropbox or Google Drive), or we can create a QR code for users to download your app directly from our hosting environment. After being downloaded, the only additional step is users have to approve InstaVR as a developer in their phone before downloading. This instruction is included in the email you receive from InstaVR after packaging.
For Google Play Store, we’ll create a .apk file and .obb file. Both files will be uploaded to your Google Developer account for them to review. Turnaround time for review by Google is usually 2-3 business days.
iOS packaging is a similar one-click process to Android. But distribution can be slightly more complicated. For authoring, you can refer to our authoring & publishing guide for iOS.
Just like with Android, you can publish either an In-House (self-distribute) app or an iTunes Store app. Similar to Android, you’ll need to be an approved Apple Developer to publish to the latter.
Self-distributing iOS apps is somewhat complicated by Apple being a closed development environment. They want everything to flow through the iTunes Store. So the fact InstaVR even publishes to iOS is impressive and a major differentiator.
The .ipa file InstaVR packages for you CAN’T be freely uploaded to a web site or file sharing site.* The only way to self-distribute is by doing an email invite in your InstaVR dashboard. The user will then come to the InstaVR site on their phone, download the app, and approve InstaVR as a developer in their settings.
Publishing to the iTunes Store requires the additional step of procuring a Developer certificate and uploading it to InstaVR prior to packaging. More info on that process is found here.
* The exception to this is InstaVR Enterprise clients, who can create Apple Enterprise apps that can be internally distributed using Apple Configurator.
There’s two main ways to publish to Oculus Go: via sideloading (using a USB cable + Android Debug Software) or through Oculus’ internal store (which allows only you and people you select to access the app). We have extensive guides written for sideloading and for using the internal Oculus Store.
The latter method gives you access to something called Oculus Release Channels. This is an important feature that allows you to distribute apps to headsets without having to physically touch the headset. This makes distributing apps globally to different offices and clients easy! Definitely read the guide on this publishing method if you’re thinking of creating an app for external distribution to multiple headsets.
Currently, the only way to publish to Quest is via the sideloading method. The steps required are same as the Oculus Go.
Samsung Gear VR
Gear VR requires you to upload what’s called a .osig file to InstaVR prior to publishing. Each Gear VR compatible Samsung phone has its own specific .osig file that is generated by inputing the Device ID to a page on the Oculus site. We’ve written a whole guide for publishing specific to Gear VR, so check it out before you start publishing to this outlet.
HTC Vive & Oculus Rift (PRO only)
Vive and Rift publishing with InstaVR both generate .exe files. Those files run on the computers attached to the headsets. One note of interest is Vive and Rift publishing uses gaze navigation — same as on iOS/Android — and not the hand controllers. Many clients prefer this as the learning curve for new users is much easier.
WebVR allows you to publish to either laptop or mobile phones. There’s two approaches to WebVR publishing — using an InstaVR hosted full-screen version or packaging a Zip file (PRO only) that you can run on your own web site. Packaging to WebVR is the fastest way to create and test your VR app in InstaVR, taking a mere seconds. You won’t get an email saying it’s ready — you just go to your Downloads section a few seconds after hitting publish!
As we’ve written about previously, WebVR isn’t as good as native apps for video, but is a great way to publish image-based VR apps. Some features of WebVR — ie auto-playing hotspots — are also disabled by the mobile phone carriers, so require action by the user to initiate.
There are many great ways to distribute your InstaVR created apps. The right headset or mobile device depends on your audience. We’ve simplified VR app publishing & distribution into an easy, no-coding process what normally would take you months or years to do. If you’ve never created a mobile or VR app for your company, you can do so quickly and easily with InstaVR. If you run into any issues, use the “?” next to features for hundreds of explainer videos, or our AI-powered Help section, or reach out to our Customer Support team.
Can’t wait to see all the great VR applications you build using InstaVR!