On Thursday, Google (GOOG) held its I/O developers conference in San Fransisco, Calif. The search engine behemoth, software developer and creator of consumer electronics announced a series of exciting first-look product announcements and development updates at the event. One of the last presentations made at the event was the introduction of Google Cardboard—Google’s extremely cheap virtual reality experience device and software—to Apple iOS.
Though the conference may have provided a bevy of interesting breaking news stories, the fact that Google Cardboard will be available for the iPhone is massive. Google will be selling a new headset device that will fit the iPhone along with the availability of the Cardboard on iOS.
Current image from iOS device
As of March, Apple had sold its 500 millionth iPhone, Forbes reports. Any and all of those devices which run an updated iOS version can soon downloaded Google Cardboard. Google has said that their Cardboard application, which compliments a $20 headset device, has now been downloaded “over a million times.” It’s unclear just how many people have downloaded Cardboard but one thing is for sure: that number is sure to soon skyrocket.
Apple’s iconic smartphone has been recognized as owning a major share of the smartphone market and the iPhone 6 produced historic, seemingly unbelievable, global sales figures.
In February, a report from Kantar Worldpanel showed that iOS sales “overtook” Android sales by approximately 0.1 percent in Q4 2014. It would be the first quarter in more than two years where more iOS devices were sold than Android in the U.S. What does this translate to? It means that affordable virtual reality will now be available on a scale that has never been seen before because it will be available to a larger consumer and developer base.
The Cardboard virtual experience had been previously reserved for Google’s android smartphone devices, like the Samsung Note series, due to its necessary yet free app download from the Google Play store. But today that changed.
Obviously today was a big day for Google, having to present the company’s current vision only weeks before Apple does the same at its annual WWDC conference, but many analysts were impressed by Google’s upcoming products and initiatives.
Among its major announcements, Google provided further details regarding its new IoT operating system interface, said that it would allow users to store an unlimited amount of high resolution pictures for free via its cloud service and showcased a new Android OS system that benefits from machine learning tech.
In terms of other Cardboard news, Google also announced that it was introducing a new VR-centric school program that would enable teachers to build learning tools and lessons for students around the world. Teacher’s will be able to create and customize these lessons from either an Android or Apple tablet by purchasing an “Expedition” kit. The kit would include several Cardboard headset devices and the necessary tablet software to build out the educational content.