Facebook opens its Android-based Quest operating system to other VR device makers

Today we’re taking the next step toward our vision for a more open computing platform for the metaverse. We’re opening up the operating system powering our Meta Quest devices to third-party hardware makers, giving more choice to consumers and a larger ecosystem for developers to build for. We’re working with leading global technology companies to bring this new ecosystem to life and making it even easier for developers to build apps and reach their audiences on the platform.


Meta Horizon OS is the result of a decade of work by Meta to build a next-generation computing platform. To pioneer standalone headsets, we developed technologies like inside-out tracking, and for more natural interaction systems and social presence, we developed eye, face, hand, and body tracking. For mixed reality, we built a full stack of technologies for blending the digital and physical worlds, including high-resolution Passthrough, Scene Understanding, and Spatial Anchors. This long-term investment that began on the mobile-first foundations of the Android Open Source Project has produced a full mixed reality operating system used by millions of people.

↫ Facebook’s blog

In summary, Facebook wants the operating system of their Quest series of virtual reality devices – an Android Open Source Project fork optimised for this use – to become the default platform for virtual reality devices from all kinds of OEMs. Today, they’re announcing that both Asus and Lenovo will be releasing devices running this Meta Horizon OS, with the former focusing on high-end VR gaming, and the latter on more general use cases of work, entertainment, and so on. Facebook will also be working together with Microsoft to create a Quest “inspired by Xbox”.

The Meta Quest Store, the on-device marketplace for applications and games, will be renamed to the Meta Horizon Store, and the App Lab, where developers can more easily get their applications and games on devices and in the hands of consumers as long as they meet basic technical and content guidelines, will be integrated into the Meta Horizon Store for easier access than before. In addition, in a mildly spicy move, Facebook is openly inviting Google to bring the Google Play Store to the VR Android fork, “where it can operate with the same economic model it does on other platforms”.

The odds of me buying anything from Facebook are slim, so I really hope this new move won’t corner the market for VR headsets right out of the gate; I don’t want another Android/iOS duopoly. I’m not particularly interested in VR quite yet – but give it a few more years, and I certainly won’t pass up on a capable device that allows me to play Beat Saber and other exercise-focused applications and games.

I just don’t want it to be a Facebook device or operating system.


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