Does VR Need Top Smartphone Apps to Be Mainstream?

Remember the old times you used a computer?


Email, Microsoft Word, Facebook, Solitaire, Online Dictionary, and all web browsing was happening on desktop and laptop computers.

Then smartphones came and changed everything.

vr killer apps

Smartphones weren’t really exploding until it has features like a PC. Email, Microsoft Word, Facebook, games, dictionary, and all web browsing is now happening on smartphones. Also, almost all the features on PC are adopted into smartphones. And, this is what happened: More than two billion people are using smartphones in 2017. Computer usage falls as 20% of millennials go mobile-only.

And, there goes a question:

Does virtual reality (VR) need top smartphone apps (e.g. Gmail, Facebook, Maps, etc) to be mainstream?

vr killer apps

First thing first, let’s talk about the most fundamental idea of PC, smartphones, and VR. The most fundamental idea of a PC is to ease our work; smartphones is to make everything easier and faster (as everything is at the tip of our finger); meanwhile, VR is to deepen our understanding or perspective of an information through a virtual world.

From its fundamental idea, VR won’t be the next of PC or smartphone; it is a whole new medium, an immersive computing. Therefore, we cannot simply adopt what’s on PC and smartphones into VR to make everyone use it. Because let’s take an example, you adopt Gmail into a VR version, and it works really good, but ask yourself: Will you send an e-mail through the tip of your fingers or through a VR headset that you have to wear around your head?

You’ve got your answer.

However, this doesn’t mean VR doesn’t need top smartphone apps at all.

vr killer apps

VR definitely needs it because Maps, Facebook, and other top smartphone apps have already integrated with people’s lives. So, imagine we have a VR version of Facebook where we can meet our friends in the same environment, no more screen that separates us (and, thank God, Facebook is working on it). Imagine if we have a VR version of Maps where we don’t need to read the maps because we can directly see the road, the buildings, and the direction — so we can expect what kind of road we will head to (and, thanks to Google Earth VR who seems to make it possible in the future). Imagine if we have a VR version of Amazon where we can see a product in its real size like we’d see at the store. And the list goes on. And, these are probably going to be the VR killer apps.

So, let’s go back to the question: Does VR need top smartphone apps (e.g. Gmail, Facebook, Maps, etc) to get mainstream recognition? Or does it need its own VR killer apps?

No, if it’s just as simple as we’ve already seen on PC and smartphones.

Yes, if it defines the fundamental idea of VR, which is immersive computing and will become VR killer apps.

But what’s your opinion?

Does VR need top smartphone apps to get mainstream recognition? Or its own VR killer apps? Let us know in the comment box below.


This article is originally posted on BeThere, the first virtual reality brand from the Middle East, introducing their first product called BeThere Book, which is a brochure/a book that integrates with VR, suitable for education, marketing, and business. Follow our journey on FacebookTwitterInstagram. Get one hereReach us here!

betherebook vr brochure

BeThere Book


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