Interactive patterns Setup

Setup

Getting situated in a VR experience may take time. The user may have to adjust a headset or place a phone in a Cardboard-style holder.

To avoid the user feeling rushed, make sure the experience only begins when the user indicates readiness. Do not start your app automatically or based on a timer. Allow the user to click through an initial screen, signalling they are ready for the experience to start.

Entering and exiting Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

The convention on Android for transitioning from a 2D application to VR is for the user to tap the headset icon.

Download the icon here:

The standard way of exiting VR is for the user to hit the back button in the system bar (if the application has a 2D interface), or for the user to hit the home button.

Headset adaptation Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Using the Cardboard SDK is recommended to accurately adapt your app to the physical characteristics of the user’s particular headset. With the Cardboard SDK, your app will adapt automatically. The SDK also includes automatic stereo configuration for a specific Cardboard model, and distortion correction for the specific Cardboard model’s lenses.

Failing to precisely place the stereoscopic images or do distortion correction for a particular headset’s lenses will likely cause your users discomfort. Given the wide range of headsets available to users, it is recommended you use the Cardboard SDK to avoid the complexity involved.

Full Screen mode Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

When your app is in VR, you should use Android’s Full Screen mode, and not Android’s Lights Out mode. Using Lights Out will reduce your effective screen size, and the system controls or status bar may actually appear in the user’s peripheral vision.

API calls Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Android does not currently support rendering pop-up dialog boxes in stereoscopic 3D within a VR application.

As a result, applications should not perform any API calls that will present the user with a 2D dialog box. It causes disorientation in the following ways:

  • It displays the dialog box in the wrong orientation, awkwardly spanning across both eyes.
  • To click on dialog buttons, the user will need to physically remove their phone from the Cardboard viewer and then reinsert it after the dialog box has been dismissed.

If your application does need to make API calls that could result in a dialog box, complete them before instructing the user to place their phone in a Cardboard viewer.

Indicating VR apps Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Many users will discover your application through a filtered search on Google Play, the Cardboard app, or reviews of VR applications. An additional badge placed within your app’s icon is not necessary and increases visual clutter.

The best ways to indicate that your application uses VR include:

  • Mentioning VR in the title of your application
  • Including screenshots in Google Play that show stereoscopic vision, a strong indicator that the user is about to download a VR application