YouTube adds Cardboard support, VR comes to more videos

The world is about to be made even more immersive, as YouTube has added an option for owners of Google Cardboard to view videos in 360 degrees of 3D.

An official update to the YouTube app is here, and if you own one of the $5, $10, or free Google Cardboard accessories — which usually is made of cardboard, it’s not just a name — your world is about to be a little more playful.

That’s thanks to an update Google has made that brings in a “Cardboard” icon that kind of resembles a block set of glasses.


Press that and the screen gets split in two, with the YouTube video being rendered for both your eyes individually.

Owners of the Google Cardboard devices should know exactly what this means: three-dimensional video that when used with one of these devices (or even possibly Samsung’s Gear VR) manages to feel real thanks to the way our brains process information.


Pair this up with virtual reality content — video that is shot in such a way where more than one angle is captured — and you have a YouTube app that can immerse you in more environments.

Additionally, YouTube sends word that videos that don’t have that extra information and are just plain old regular videos can also load in its VR Cardboard mode, loading into place with a black frame around them and simulating theatre watching.


If you have a Google Cardboard device, this means all those crazy cat videos can technically be watched inside your own personal cinema, though you’ll need to bring the popcorn, and possibly the extra dose of craziness and cooing.

Availability on this feature is, for the moment, only on the Android edition of YouTube, though given iOS unofficially supports Cardboard, we have to wonder how long it will be until Google releases this update to iPhone, too.