As a 90’s kid, VR is probably one the most interesting inventions of the 21st century. The ability to have a first-person perspective of places I had never visited was probably one of the most beautiful scenarios I could ever imagine.
Then it hit me, VR devices aren’t all that cheap and for me to experience this wonderment within the comfort of my home was going to be quite hard. That was till Google Cardboard made its way into my hands! Priced at an affordable $12.99 it was a dream come true for a VR loving nerd like me. With it’s DIY approach to VR which lets you house your Android phone in a cardboard shell and opens the door to numerous worlds!
Then came the typical question: Now what? I’ve gotten my hands on a phenomenal and yet inexpensive device but what are the best VR apps for it?
After some extensive research and use, I’ve been able to zero in on the 10 best VR apps ever. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
The Best VR Apps for Google Cardboard
Experience Oriented Best VR Apps
Surprised to see this video giant on this list? As a bonafide Youtube nut, I can tell you that there are numerous beautiful pieces of 360-degree content to be found on Youtube. Whether it is a beautiful KHS video of a group of friends singing together on a sunny day or a 4k video of a day in Dubai.
Free and beautiful this is the first place on the interweb that I found the immersive VR experience and I was happy to see that Google Cardboard only made it better![appbox googleplay com.google.android.youtube&hl=en]
Being directionally challenged is one of the biggest banes of my existence but Google Maps has always come to my rescue. Instead of badgering people all around me for directions, I can simply whip out my phone to find my way. With Google Street View, I can go one step further. It was updated a short while ago to support VR content and provides people with a 360-degree view of roads, addresses and landmarks. It’s a great way to experience the world in real time with user-generated and satellite content![appbox googleplay com.google.android.street]
Have you ever looked at news coverage of war-torn areas and found yourself struck by the magnitude of the moment? With journalists risking their life and limb to bring us such coverage, it made sense to create a VR experience for the same. The New York Times has created an application through which regular people like you and me can stand in the midst of chaos and look at what award-winning videographers see almost every day.
Intrigued? You certainly should be![appbox googleplay com.im360nytvr]
Watching VR videos is great but what if you could capture your own memories as VR? Show your great grandchildren just how much fun you were! Cardboard Camera allows you to do just that. With photos that can be captured in VR in a simple open and click format, it can’t get better than this. They won’t be stellar, to begin with, but they’ll get better with each successive picture. Do give it a go![appbox googleplay com.google.vr.cyclops]
Educational Best VR Apps
As the nerdy kid who loves the cosmos and was extremely disappointed to see Pluto demoted from planet-dom this application touches my heart! It features a tour of our solar system where one can explore the cosmos to a nifty little soundtrack in the free version or pay $2.99 for a soothing voice telling you “how the whole universe was in a hot dense space” and more![appbox googleplay com.drashvr.titansofspacecb]
VR has always been about immersive experience of the unknown and this app is the pinnacle of human innovation to do that. An application made primarily for the classroom, used in tandem with Google Cardboard, you’ll be able to explore landmarks, landscapes, landforms and waterscapes to truly feel like a worldly adventurer. To add to the allure, it is also entirely free![appbox googleplay com.google.vr.expeditions]
I sincerely hope that my mom wasn’t the only one who kept badgering me to watch Discovery while growing up? Begrudgingly though I may have watched the expeditions that each episode brought they were always awe-inspiring. With this VR app, Discovery has taken it a step further and made an already beautiful experience even more so! From exclusive content from old favourites like Shark Week and Myth Busters this application will always keep you on the edge of your seat.[appbox googleplay com.discovery.DiscoveryVR&hl=en]
While I was growing up I was never prone to stage fright, especially when it came to public speaking I have many friends who were. An application Public Speaking VR allows people to input their presentation notes into the device while simulating an environment that could potentially make them fearful of speaking. Constant practice in this simulation has been proven to get reduce the fear of public speaking.[appbox googleplay com.virtualSpeech.android&hl=en]
Horror Best VR Apps
Horror is one of the genres that embraced 3D viewing the first. Why? Simply because true horror is atmospheric and must be an immersive experience for the viewer. With this Insidious VR application users are transported to the world-within-a-world experience that drives viewers in droves to theatres. Are you brave enough to navigate The Further’s darkest reaches with Elise?[appbox googleplay com.focus.insidiousCardboard]
The reason why I wish to incorporate only horror games in this list is that only horror can inspire people to truly pay attention to audiovisual cues. In this games, originally mentioned in Impractical Jokers, there is a truly immersive experience offered due to binaural and directional audio that constantly wrecks havoc on the player’s senses. Are you brave enough to take the plunge?[appbox googleplay com.otherworld.Sisters]
With this, my list of the Best VR Apps for Android draws to an end. Google Cardboard is a phenomenal entry level DIY device to figure out if you are really cut out for the VR experience. Give these Google Cardboard apps a whirl and let us know how they were for you in the comments below!