It’s time to talk about the beginner’s device to rule them all – the Google Cardboard. Virtual Reality is all the rage these days, and it seems like the content available for the ever-growing pile of costly hardware is increasing exponentially by the hour. Before you dive headset first into the fire of expensive VR, it might be worth testing out the concept with a less pricey headset. To help you get started, we suggest you try to get hold of a Cardboard device (they can be acquired through your local tech store or online). With all of that out of the way, please enjoy this list of our favorite Google Cardboard apps. It doesn’t matter if you are the custodian of a regular Google Cardboard, or you have one of the plethora of other alternatives out there.
Some of these are educational, and some are not. Dive in, and enjoy our selection of easily accessible VR content!
Google Expeditions is an app that let’s you go on a virtual field trip and visit the world from the comfort of your classroom, office chair or wherever your current destination may be. Visit historical landmarks, venture out into space or dive underwater as you explore the depths of the ocean. Through the use of 360° and 3D technology you as the acting “guide”, gets to lead and educate your group of explorers each step along the way of your field trip. The growing list of 200+ expeditions available can be downloaded so there’s no need for WiFi when running a session with your class. Of all the Google Cardboard apps on the list, this one arguably has the most to offer in terms of educational content.
Developer: Google Inc
NYTVR was built by the New York Times so that you through the means of VR could get a chance to visit the news in a ground-breaking new way. It’s one of those Google Cardboard apps that have become synonymous with its trade – in this regard, journalism. By transporting you into the heat of the world as seen through the camera-lens of some of the world’s most talented journalists, you get to experience from the point of view of a nameless bystander, the global arena of political dilemmas, natural disasters, war-torn nations and ever-evolving nature of popular culture.
Developer: The New York Times Company
vTime is a massive social network built specifically for mobile Virtual Reality. The concept is entirely device-agnostic so there’s plenty of content available with its massive community constantly pushing for more. In the app you get to socialize and chat with family and friends regardless of where in the world they may be. If you work from overseas or are spending some time away from home, this might just be what mom needs!
Apollo 15 Moon Landing VR
Apollo 15 Moon Landing VR celebrates the anniversary of the Apollo 15 mission by taking you on a journey skywards so you can get to simulate the 1971 mission in all its glory, while remaining seated safely here on earth. The application has been built using NASA data and footage, so you can expect most of this experience to be on-point in terms of technological realism. Drive your Lunar Rover across the surface of the moon and feel what it would be like to be a real-life astronaut in their real-life habitat.
Developer: Thomas Kole
Discovery VR has built an app that allows us to live and breathe the awe associated with the Discovery channel and some of their most acclaimed documentaries and experiences. Inside the app you will uncover exclusive clips and behind-the-scene footage from content famously built by the Discovery Channel. These include Born in China, Let’s go: Florida, Under The Net, Mythbusters and much more. This app is available whether you have the Cardboard or not.
Developer: Discovery Communications
It would seem like the demand has been met. For months, people have been asking for a way to start creating VR (or VR-like) content easily. This light-weight piece of software is one of the first Google Cardboard apps to do so easily. It doesn’t require advanced stitching or anything like it. One of the coolest things about this one, is the feature that allows for 3D perspectives. Storing relivable memories from your vacations and special events has never been easier or more fun!
Developer: Google Inc
Insidious is the only horror experience on our list, but it’s so good that we are going to have to include it. We regard it as the gem of horror-based Google Cardboard apps! Horror has been a big hit for VR, as very few elements are needed to really influence the one seeing it. All it takes is that tried and tested formula of building tension through sound, suspense through micro-indicators of something being wrong, and of course – the tried-and-tested crown of it all – the jump-scares. Insidious VR has it all, and we strongly encourage you to try it out.
Developer: Focus Features
Google Street View
Google Street View, while not specifically for VR, now allows you to experience its content through your Google Cardboard. With it installed on your phone, you can explore what the world has to offer in terms of national landmarks and foreign cultures. This Google Cardboard app allows you to immerse yourself in photo spheres and even submit your own images to Google Maps so the rest of the world can take a look as well.
Developer: Google Inc
Public Speaking VR
Public Speaking VR is one of those Google Cardboard apps that have managed to illustrate just how much potential there is to be found in this technology we work with. It allows you to practice your public speaking skills in virtual reality. Prepare for that job interview or public speaking event with a little help from your $15 Google Cardboard and a piece of software. It’s pretty impressive how far we’ve come as an industry. Especially when taking into consideration how far we’ll be a few years down the line. Features of Public Speaking VR includes:
- Animated Audience
- Stunning 360 3D Environments
- Sound Distraction
- Add Your Own Slides
- Training Environment
Cardboard is the name Google’s very own application specifically built for your Cardboard. The app comes out-of-the-box with a playing hand of interesting demos: Earth, Tour Guide, My Videos, Exhibit, Photo Sphere and Arctic Journey. The app can easily be seen as a kind of launch deck, through which you can access a plethora of interesting content. If you’re only downloading one application from our list today, this would have to be our #1 pick, as it contains the bare essentials for you to get started, before venturing out and exploring the hundreds of Google Cardboard apps available out there.
Developer: Google Inc
Summary: Best Google Cardboard Apps
With that, we reach the end of our list. If you haven’t had the chance to try out virtual reality yet, and isn’t sure if it’s for you, we strongly recommend to try out the Google Cardboard first. It acts as a great litmus test to find out if you are the kind of individual who gets motion sickness from this new emerging tech, which will help figure out whether or not an upgrade (to a GearVR, Oculus or HTC Vive) would make sense for you. We thank you for your visit, and can’t wait to be with you later this year with yet another updated version of our favorite Google Cardboard apps.