Google and Meta: An XR Alliance in the Making?

Previously, we discussed Meta’s initiative to enhance the 2D application UX/UI for its Quest headsets. However, what went unmentioned in that report is the paucity of such applications within the Meta Quest App Store, where the majority are designed specifically for VR. This contrasts starkly with Apple’s Vision Pro, which seamlessly incorporates the vast majority of applications from the iOS App Store, a feat Quest cannot replicate due to its foundation in the Android App Store, rooted in Google’s Play Store.

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According to a report by MIXED, Meta and Google have indeed engaged in discussions on this matter. The Information revealed that towards the end of 2023, the two companies had convened to explore potential collaborations in the realm of Extended Reality (XR). The discussions revolved around Google’s desire for Meta to become a partner in its XR operating system, Android XR, which would entail granting Meta’s Quest headsets access to Google’s suite of services. Android XR is expected to be featured in upcoming XR devices.

However, Meta declined the proposition, likely due to the implication of abandoning its highly customized Quest operating system and app ecosystem, which has been developed over many years. It’s worth noting that Meta had once endeavored to create its proprietary XR operating system but ultimately abandoned this pursuit in 2021, opting instead to continue developing the Quest operating system based on Android.

On the other hand, Google has not ceased its efforts to entice other manufacturers into the Android XR fold. As previously reported, Google, in collaboration with Qualcomm and Samsung, is expected to launch a headset by the end of this year, indicating Google’s ongoing commitment to expanding its Android XR ecosystem.