Google is ending support for its virtual reality application called Expeditions. The application, which offers educational virtual reality tours, will be removed from the iOS and Android app stores on June 30, 2021. Most of the tours offered in the app will be moved to Google’s existing Arts & Culture app. Users will be allowed to view them via web or mobile device.
Google announced the announcement in a blog post. According to 9to5Google, Google detailed its decision to make Expeditions tours more accessible to students during the coronavirus pandemic. “We heard and understood that immersive experiences with virtual reality glasses are not always accessible to all students,” said Jennifer Holland, director of education program management at Google. said. “We will no longer support the Expeditions app, as Art and Culture will offer most Expeditions tours.”
Google released the Expeditions app for Cardboard VR glasses in 2015. The “virtual school trips” were distributed to the classes abroad from cardboard boxes. The app included 360-degree panoramas capturing museums, festivals, and the distant wonders of the world. However, Google has gradually reduced its virtual reality plans since then. The company discontinued the Daydream VR platform and made Cardboard an open source community project last year.
Expeditions did much better than Daydream as it joined the more comprehensive Arts & Culture app as a tool to host various innovations such as the Van Gogh photo filter and match your selfie photos with famous artworks. You can even view some Arts & Culture content on Cardboard. However, this is not an option that has been overlooked.
In addition, Google is ending support for the Tour Creator feature, which allows people to make their own tours on Expeditions. Tour Creator will no longer be available after June 30 next year. However, Google will allow users to export assets from their current rounds in the coming months. More details are available on the Expeditions site.