What’s Cool about App Lab from Oculus?
In the latest software update for Oculus Quest which is the v25, there is a new feature that will definitely make the life of virtual reality developers becoming more excited this year. Recently, on 2nd February 2021, Oculus Blog revealed that cool feature which they named it as App Lab.
And the App Lab is…
According to Oculus, App Lab is a new way for the developers to safely distribute and share their apps with Quest owners. The interesting part is, they can do this without the Oculus Store approval and also without the sideloading process. For the benefit of the developers, Oculus has taken steps to make the submission as simple as possible. For example by reducing the Technical Requirements and also the VRCs (Virtual Reality Checks). Cool!!
For us, it looks like very convenient because the normal sideloading process got quite a number of steps that we really need to know and configure correctly to enjoy the game. The steps are like enabling the Developers Mode, run the sideloading installer, allow USB debugging, sideloading APK and etc, etc..
According to Oculus, to install the App Lab apps, you can just click on the link and download the app. There are few games that Oculus Blog already listed in their post such as “Ancient Dungeon Beta“, “Baby Hands“, “Crisis VRigade“, “Deisim” and many more.
Try Searching for the Apps…
OK, so we decided to try to find the game. First, we opened the Oculus app and we tried to find the word “App Lab” inside the Oculus app. However, there is no result found specific to that query. When we read further in the Oculus Blog, they mentioned that we can find it by using the exact name of the game titles.
So, so we try to search one of the game. We tried with “Deisim“. Yeap, it is successfully listed as below…
It stated clearly that “Deisim” is under the App Lab category. The Store also put the disclaimer as well which mentioned that “This app may be experimental or still in development“.
Next, we clicked on the thumbnail of the game and this is what appears…
There is a pop-up box appears that shows more detail of the Disclaimer. The message appears to be: “This app is available through App Lab, and may be experimental or still in development. Warning: Apps from App Lab haven’t gone through the full Oculus review process, so they may include unknown issues relating to comfort, performance or other factors.“
Hmmm… Sounds like try it at your own risk. But don’t get it wrong. All the App Lab apps are required to comply with the App Lab policies. That also includes the Oculus Content Guidelines, Data Use Policy and Apps Policies as well. All of this is for the purpose of promoting a safe, secure and positive experience for these kind of apps. And also to ensure that users still got the confidence when buying the apps from the Store.
To make the environment more secure, developers also have the option to send keys directly to the specific players or community only. This is really helpful if they want to control the access to their apps. In terms of update, the App Lab apps will receive automatic update just like other apps in the Store.
On the positive note, it is surely a faster way for developers to get their apps across to the users who can’t wait to get their hand on it. This will also boost the morale and motivation of the new developers to see their products being used and get the early feedback to improve it.
This is really an exciting time for the Quest developers and community. For more information regarding App Lab, you can read it at:
- “Latest Oculus Quest Update Fosters Developer Creativity with App Lab and Connects People with Messenger” from Oculus Blog.
- “Introduce App Lab: A New Way to Distribute Oculus Quest Apps” from Oculus for Developers.