HTC Vive App Lets iPhone Users Get Notifications in Virtual Reality

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    HTC has released its VR headset iPhone companion app on the App Store, enabling HTC Vive owners to receive real-world notifications from their phone while immersed in virtual reality.

    The HTC Vive app brings some of the headset's unique features to iPhone owners for the first time, such as the ability to receive calls, text messages, and calendar reminders within the relative isolation of immersive VR.


    Notifications forwarded by the app appear momentarily in the headset's HUD, and remain available in the HTC Vive dashboard for later perusal. Third-party app notifications are not currently supported.

    In addition to downloading the free app, headset owners must install the HTC Vive client on their PC. At present, the Android app's facility to send preset responses to calls or texts from within the virtual world is not supported in the iOS version.

    HTC Vive owners can download the app for iPhone from the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: HTC Vive App Lets iPhone Users Get Notifications in Virtual Reality
  2. Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    VR is going to be so great in a few years. Lower barriers to entry, killer apps, better software. Exciting times ahead.

    Good to see this from HTC. Also supported AirPlay on their latest flagship phone.
  3. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Eons ago, playing Nethack on Unix systems, if you received new mail the "Mail Daemon" would pop up next to you as an in-game character to deliver the message (as a scroll, no less), then pop away again before you could attack it. I was sort of hoping when I saw the headline that this would be something more like that, than simply a message on the in-display HUD.
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I would rather if they had some API or something. App developers can decide the best way to present notifications without disrupting the experience, and if they don't implement it, it'll simply pop up front and center.

    The Vive tracks your hands, so it seems to me that you could easily give the person a virtual watch to show their real notifications.

    Also... When is a Mac getting VR support? This seems like the next big thing to me, so I don't want to buy a new computer which doesn't support it. I'm actually contemplating buying something that isn't a Mac if Apple isn't going to release something within the next year or two...
  5. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    Almost decided to pull the trigger on a Vive this morning only because it's showing in stock. Bet it won't ship anytime soon but I still haven't received my day 1 oculus pre-order yet. Either keep the first one that ships or keep both. I'm sick of waiting.
  6. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Yup, it's incredible tech. Bit expensive now but no doubt that price will come down in time.
  7. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Might be alone on this, but I'm still not buying into this whole VR fad.
  8. vooke macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2014
    You always have 'resistors'...I refused to discard by BlackBerry keyboard because I could type faster on it for than my laptop/PC. Today I still can't tell what I was clinging to
  9. Pilgrim1099 Suspended

    Apr 30, 2008
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    Most definitely not a fad at all. It's the new frontier of digital interaction between man and machine with improvements. Think of VR as the next paradigm shift. The last one was with smartphones about a decade ago.

    Don't think of VR as a replacement for keyboard/mouse/touchscreens. Think of it as an extension and new way to interact in real time 3D space. It WAS a fad about twenty years ago when Nintendo tried its hand on virtual reality and it didn't work out so well. VR was explored by other companies at that time but there wasn't any breakthrough. . .until now ( and no, Apple isn't FIRST and won't get it right due to the presence of Cook, that much I believe. I wouldn't hold my breath on it ).

    Expect VR to become big within the year now that Sony, Microsoft, HTC, Facebook and other companies are getting involved. When you see those big name companies jumping in, that means they're not screwing around with VR. It's being taken seriously not as a means to playing games, but also to use it for other ways to virtually interact with email, live avatar chatting, create 3D modeling/CAD work ( that's already been done by the military to design the Navy warships. ), educational uses for virtual field trips ( they have those now ), and much more. Even the adult entertainment industry has already jumped on it.

    This is not something you just carry and wear in public in the streets but rather more designed to be used in the home or office space to be hooked to the high powered PC ( or Mac if Apple gets its crap together beefing up the specs ). It's one reason why I believe Microsoft and Sony had to come out with the next iteration of Playstation and X-Box for improved spec bumps in order to use VR properly. I heard that Microsoft realized that the X-Box One isn't powerful enough to run it on the highest rendering possible, but you might see a low-res version of VR on the current machines. But run it on high-res with VR on a Mac and it will croak and choke.

    I've tried the Oculus as a test demo in a local art event a couple years ago and was amazed by it. Heck, just a couple weeks ago I saw the Oculus being demoed again at the local college ( I believe it's a new version of the Oculus Rift with improved specs ).

    Wearing VR goggles is like being Tron in the Grid :).
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    When Apple takes graphics seriously enough to put something high-end enough in their machines.
  11. nagromme, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Mac OS X native support for Vive was also announced a while ago, for those who'd like to skip rebooting and installing the same Steam title on both OS's. Haven't heard more on that, but hope it happens.

    (Macs already support VR in Windows--Boot Camp--although if your particular machine is too slow for an experience you are OK with, then skip it or upgrade: same as with nearly every PC in the world. Await reviews and tests, and remember "VR" does not equal Oculus, which is only one brand.)

    Palmer Luckey set very high requirements for his own product (and I don't think that was necessarily a bad call—limit early adopters to THE best max-detail experiences, since they are having production delays anyway). And he gave a nice sound bite to rile up online forums. But Macs certainly CAN do VR. Heck, even iPhones can. Pick your appropriate detail level and game type, obviously, and then have fun!

    Most important reason to have VR on Mac: reach mobile game developers and other content creatives. The market for VR buyers may be small—the market for creators, vital!
  12. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    I think that can be said about any new product that hits the market. The first flat screen TV was well over $10,000. The first CD burner which was close to $1000. Even during the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray wars cost was over $500 with no clear winner early on.
    The one thing each had in common was the early adopter. VR is really no different.
  13. shadin macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2016
    This is the real answer. VR is very susceptible to framerate fluctuation, meaning that you need enough horsepower to maintain max FPS, or you run the risk of getting sick. Obviously this won't effect everyone equally, but at the end of the day, Apple is going to have to care about performance instead of thinness and make a move back to non-laptop parts in their desktop machines.
  14. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    The FPS thing is true—but oversimplified by many. It matters for some game types more than others, and "magic numbers" thrown out are somewhat arbitrary. A game where your body holds still is VERY different needs from a game in a vehicle vs (worst-case) a walking game. Likewise, the speed of the action, the need (or not) to turn suddenly, etc. all impact what kind of framerate is truly needed.

    FPS does matter, but Macs CAN hold a terrific FPS. Even low-end Macs. It's the same as any game: you balance detail settings against FPS. So, a top-end PC can handle specific VR games and detail levels most if any Macs can't. But not every game needs that kind of detail to be fun. In fact, immersion in a cartoon or Tron-like world can be even more fun than a "sort of almost" uncanny-valley attempt at "realism," which is the best ANY PC can deliver. (For the record, I love bootcamping my Mac and trying the "realistic" VR experiences. But the other visual styles ARE fun too.)

    So even your measly first-get MacBook can put out a steady framerate great for VR. Just not for every title. It's up to the game designer whether to target only the high end or not. (Which is applies to PCs too: most PCs cannot handle top-end detail.)

    Again, that's why low-cost phone-based VR (when done right) works decently: GPU power is a piece of the puzzle, but it's simply not the the whole story.

    Try Proton Pulse on iPhone with Google Cardboard. Then tell me you couldn't have fun with VR on a far more powerful mid-range Mac :)
  15. shadin macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2016
    It is oversimplified, and you're right, low-end VR like what's been done with phone GPUs is fun to play around with. But when most people are talking about something being VR ready, they're talking about games and more advanced VR such as what we're seeing on the OR and Vive, and that's simply not going to happen with the current level of GPUs in any Apple product, or for the foreseeable future unless they start making performance a priority in some of their lineup.
  16. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    Adding support for VR one thing but how good is it without GPU muscle? It's like comparing the PlayStation 2 to the PS4. Both play games but the PS4 is going to give you the better experience. The GPU is the most important component in VR.
    Once the next gen GPU's come out I plan on dropping $600 to $800 on just that part alone.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 26, 2016 ---
    Very correct. I love my Gear VR because it's very portable with no wires. But it's no comparison to the Rift and Vive when comparing the power that the PC has.
  17. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Glad to see people no longer making absolute statements about "VR" when they're specifically talking about certain types of games, with detail settings maxed :) Makes the discussion more clear.

    And we WILL see Vive experiences on Mac, if they stand by that announcement. Mac was intended to be supported on day one; now we're awaiting more info:

    And if they don't stand by that... we'll still have Vive on Mac, thanks to Boot Camp.

    (I can well understand that supporting one platform is quicker and cheaper than supporting multiple.)
  18. shadin macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2016
    No one is saying that there won't be official support. We're saying that official support will be mostly useless, and the devices won't be worth their high cost, unless Apple provides VR capable hardware that can take full advantage of the system. If all it can do is low-end and niche VR applications, then you might as well just use Gear VR, Google Cardboard, or other low-end VR devices made to run on limited hardware.
  19. cdm283813 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2015
    You said it better than I could. People don't grasp the concept. Just because you can stuff a iPhone in a VR holder does not make it a Oculus/Vive competitor. There is a lot more involved and no Mac has the hardware to compete on the PC level.

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18 April 26, 2016