Why Meta Quest has limited Android apps
Meta Quest, the popular VR platform, has been criticized for its lack of Android apps. Despite running on a modified Android operating system, the platform only supports a handful of popular smartphone apps from the Google Play Store as simple 2D apps. Meta’s CTO, Andrew Bosworth, has addressed the issue, stating that it’s not entirely Meta’s fault. He suggests that developers should take the initiative to bring their Android apps to the Quest Store as APKs, and that Meta has reached out to Google to bring their Play Store apps to VR, but without success.
Meta introduced 2D apps to the Quest Store with the v34 system update in November 2021, but two years later, little has changed. While Messenger and Whatsapp have been integrated into the VR platform, other major Android apps like Discord, Spotify, X (formerly Twitter), and Reddit are still missing. The Quest Store currently lists only ten 2D apps, leaving users wanting more connectivity to the Android ecosystem.
Why Android apps are important for Meta Quest
Meta Quest needs a connection to the Android ecosystem to keep users engaged. Very few users want to disconnect from the apps and platforms they use all day when they put on their VR headset. This is a significant advantage for Apple, as their upcoming Vision Pro headset will support most iPhone and iPod apps out of the box. However, Meta depends on other players, such as service providers, platform holders, developers, and Google itself, to support Android apps on the Quest platform.
Andrew Bosworth encourages VR users to reach out to app developers and urge them to bring their Android apps to the Quest Store as APKs. He emphasizes that there’s nothing preventing Android developers from bringing their APKs into VR, and that it’s up to the developers to take the initiative. The situation is unlikely to change significantly until Quest reaches many millions of daily users and service providers, platform holders, and developers see the benefits of releasing and maintaining their apps on the Quest platform.