StreetView VR brings one of the largest databases of 360 degree photography to Samsung’s Gear VR headset. We took the app for a quick spin around the virtual block.
Although StreetView VR is not made by Google, it does make the latter’s Maps service, and Streetview in particular, easily accessible for those with a Gear VR. The idea sounds simple, but the slick interface combined with a few nifty extra options make this an app you can easily get lost in.
For example, you can activate links to Wikipedia articles, enabling you to read all about the local sights no matter where you decide to go. In fact, you can even go full-tourist mode, with multiple users sharing the same session, talking through the built-in voice chat.
Searching can be done using voice search, though a normal virtual keyboard is available as well. Also, you can bookmark locations for future visits. Be sure to check out the settings menu, because it contains some other options not enabled by default, such as directional arrows for navigation.
With Google’s normal Streetview being the source of all 360 degree content shown in StreetView VR, the images are not truly stereoscopic. In other words: there is no real sense of depth in the experience. Still, the sheer quantity of content available means this is the first app where you can more or less roam at will. Any place that can be seen in Streetview can be visited in StreetView VR, making this a very powerful little app that you should certainly check out if you’ve got access to a Gear VR.