Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform is fast approaching its one year anniversary, but despite a solid initial showing and lots of promising teasers, industry support for it hasn’t been particularly strong. In fact, there only a handful of Android devices you can buy today that even support the platform, but Google says that’s about to change. In the recent Alphabet earnings call, board member and Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that a total of 11 devices will be Daydream-compatible by the end of 2017.
At present, aside from Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL, only the Moto Z, Asus ZenFone AR, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, and ZTE Axon 7 are officially compatible with Daydream and, because Daydream is part of Android Nougat, the phones have to have Android 7. 1 installed.
The new Daydream VR-compatible devices are likely to be a mix of existing phones gaining Daydream support — such as Samsung’s already announced update for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus — as well as new phones, including the expected update of Google’s Pixel devices.
Daydream has shown a lot of promise as a portable VR alternative to Gear VR, but in the time since Daydream was revealed we’ve finally gotten a look at Apple’s plans for not just virtual reality, but augmented reality as well. ARKit is already in the hands of countless developers, and they’ve been teasing their work on social media and elsewhere for months. It’s clear that the Apple’s AR tech is strong, and while it’s not quite the same as a VR headset, the new platform will surely be competing with Daydream for mindshare.