Best 12 VR/360 Media Players for Android, iOS and Desktop
If you search for "VR Player" on Google Play or the App Store, you might see many search results. To save some of your time downloading and trying each one out individually, we've done the legwork for you.
Besides the obvious VR content platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Samsung VR, Steam VR, Oculus, HTC, VeeR VR, WITHIN, Littlstar, Jaunt, etc, we're offering options that can play videos you have on your phone, or access multiple platforms at the same time.
1. VR Player, iOS, Online & Local
VR Player is a clean, intuitive 360 player that supports streaming off Video and YouTube, as well as watching your local content including 360 photos and videos. Check out the player interface below for the control panel.
2. Video360, iOS, Online & Local
With Video360, you can watch local videos, stream online videos by typing in the video URL. The player might crash if your iPhone has been upgraded to iOS 11, and isn't optimized for the iPhone X. Also streaming YouTube videos would require an additional purchase.
The Homido VR player is designed to pair with the Homido headset. With the app, you can stream 360 content from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Homido's own site. To watch content from Homido, copy the item in question to the Homido folder in your app.
4. Go VR Player, iOS, Online & Local
Go VR lets you stream 360 videos from URLs directly, or watch videos from local storage.
The search function is deceptive, as it's not necessarily essential to the discovery of VR content. It directs you to a torrent site, and the catalog of VR platforms and content providers are merely an external link to their main site. However, suppose if you manage to find content you're looking for through the search function, you're free to download the torrent files to save and watch it.
Caveat: There are obtrusive ads on the search page, and the search is performed in a Chinese torrent database.
5. Mobile VR Station, iOS, Local
Mobile VR Station is a free VR player. With this app, you can browse panoramic photos and 360 content, or watch HTML5 videos using Safari mobile with a Micro VR Station extension.
Besides watching 3D side-by-side videos, you can also watch regular 2D videos with this player. The head tracking allows you to access the floating control panel as well.
However, this app does NOT support online streaming, and as the app has stated clearly itself, it doesn't work with YouTube either.
KMPlayerVR is a newly released VR video player made by KMPlayer. Further details remain to be tested.
8. AAA VR Cinema Cardboard 3D SBS
AAA VR Cinema Cardboard 3D SBS is a free VR player for Android devices. It offers a wide range of controls with motion tracking. This player only supports MOV, MP4 and M4V formats.
Caveat: The app will crash when you open a file that contains "%" in the file name, so remember to rename your files before watching.
Caveat: This is different from Mettle's SkyBox VR Player plugin for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which has been acquired and integrated into Adobe's Creative Cloud 2018.
You can control your playback using a mouse or an attached controller to change your perspective or zoom in and out. The player is compatible with a GoPro camera as well as content from other sources. The player also works with the HTC Vive headset and Oculus Rift.
Proceed to the GoPro VR Player download page to get the software for your PC or Mac.
LiveViewRift is one of the most popular virtual reality players which allows you to watch different sorts of media files with the Oculus Rift.
It supports network cameras offering MJPEG-streams over http, cameras supported by OpenCV, Blackmagic DeckLink, iSight, display-mirroring, youtube-videos and basically all common network-streams like rtmp, rtsp, videos over http, etc. Additionally, you can watch photos and videos on your computer.
Download LiveViewRift at the bottom of this info page.
12. VLC 360 (Technical Preview)
The king of desktop media player, VLC, made by VideoLAN, is working on a 3.0.0 release that incorporates 360 content playback. For now you can download the technical preview for your Mac/PC to get a taste.
Honestly though, VLC needs to get a move on to make it official. It's been a year since the word came out about VLC 360 since last November, guys! If you want to help them out, visit VideoLAN's official page to make a donation.
Do yourself a favor and don't download these apps
There are other players such as VR Tube, VR Player Free and in360tube, but frankly these apps are basically dysfunctional.
VR Tube iOS doesn't load anything; also there's a second app named VR Tube that's both available on Google Play and the App Store but is released by a different developer. One thing that's consistent between these two apps is that they're both not doing what they were made to do, so don't waste your time.
VR Player FREE iOS/Android only plays in landscape mode and doesn't have a content portal at all; instead it turns your phone into a pair of VR goggles to create a quasi-but-surely-illusional sense of being immersed in virtual reality. It also crashes like your worst nightmare with annoying flashing ads.
In360tube iOS/Android is an obvious YouTube knockoff and is mostly in Spanish. More importantly for my trial use it failed to load any thumbnail for the videos, and despite authorizing it to use WLAN and data while being connected to a steady Wi-Fi, the app kept reminding me that it needed an internet connection.
360 VR Player iOS, which has no controls besides the pause button and something similar to a panning motion at the bottom right corner.
VR Player iOS, this app is just impossible. The ads are so aggressive you can't even tap on the controls so trust me on this and skip it. You aren't missing a thing.
These apps are still linked here but solely for the purpose that you'll know which ones to avoid. #onestaralltheway #sorrynotsorry
However, we do like to keep an open mind if any of the apps mentioned above makes changes and actually improves.
This should have made the list but...
Carl Zeiss "VR ONE Cinema" has been a frequent mention for many VR player roundups, but unfortunately it hasn't been updated to work with iOS 11 as of November 27, 2017. We will check back on Zeiss and see if the developers have noticed this flaw and done anything about it.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below, we'd love more insights from you!