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Gear VR gets new VR browser with vastly improved experience

by Todd Haselton | December 23, 2016December 23, 2016 2:00 pm PDT

Samsung announced this week that its Gear VR, the affordable headset that works with many of its recent flagship devices, now offers a much-improved virtual reality web browsing experience.

The company rolled out Samsung Internet for Gear VR version 4.2, the biggest update to the browser since the beta version of this release hit last December, and it includes plenty of new functions. With support for WebVR v1.0, Samsung says Gear VR users may stumble across special images on some websites that will actually allow them to view 3D versions of the image, complete with support for viewing from multiple angles. This function is part of an experimental JavaScript API, Samsung warns, which suggests it might be a hair buggy from time to time.

Users will now be able to change the background that sits behind the actual virtual reality browser, too. Samsung said it tapped a company named OTOY to provide the photos and said that each will “add depth to the user’s browsing, transporting them to a vibrant and realistic world that’s ripe for exploration.” There’s also a file browser for viewing content on the phone or through USB-OTG on supported devices.

Gear VR browser update available now

Users should find the update now in Samsung’s Gear VR store. The browser has worked pretty well for me in the past, so I’m excited to fire up my Galaxy S7 Edge and give it a whirl in the new Gear VR sometime over the weekend.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...