Meta just advertised a mysterious Quest 3 UI update

An ad on Instagram showcasing a mysterious new Meta Quest 3 UI update
(Image credit: Meta)

What you need to know

  • A new ad on Instagram showcases a Meta Quest 3 UI with movable windows.
  • These windows stay where they're put like a physical monitor.
  • Apple Vision Pro launched with a similar window management feature, and Meta previously teased that it was working on a big UI update for the Quest.
  • There's no current ETA on the new update.

The Apple Vision Pro launched with a revolutionary mixed reality UI that lets users place windows anywhere they want in 3D space. Vision Pro users can easily multitask between apps and windows by placing them where they make the most sense — multiple monitors on a desk, a giant TV on a wall, a floating video over the kitchen counter, etc.

Thankfully, it seems Meta has taken note and has built-in near-identical functionality into the Meta Quest 3, as shown in a mysterious new advertisement on Instagram (via jdunrrp on Threads). The ad shows a mechanic wearing a Meta Quest 3, juggling multiple windows around the workshop while working on parts of a car.

The windows in the ad stay where they are in physical 3D space, just as you might expect a real monitor or display to act. This lines up with what Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said back in March, but it's the first time we've seen the feature running in action on a Meta Quest 3.

This feature is important for Meta as it continues to sell the Quest 3 as a mixed-reality headset, not a strictly virtual reality one. Since mixed reality mixes both virtual and actual reality together, it makes sense for the company to continue to develop ways for users to view both realities while wearing the headset.

There's no current ETA on when this new update will arrive, but it's likely that the update could be coming very soon if Meta is already advertising for it in public places like Instagram. Meta is currently testing firmware update v66, but that update doesn't include these features at the moment.

As the ad notes, Meta Quest 2 headsets won't have access to all the new features, almost certainly because of the headset's low resolution, black and white passthrough vision.

Android Central has reached out to Meta about this potential new update but they did not get back to us in time for publication. We will update the article once we have more information.

All-in on mixed reality

Screenshots taken from a presentation of designing an Xbox controller in Creo with Windows Volumetric Apps

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Three major things separate the Meta Quest 3 from the Apple Vision Pro: price, performance, and display resolution. All three categories feature much higher numbers on the Apple Vision Pro, but it's clear that the Quest 3's $500 price tag is far more accessible than the $3500 price tag of the Vision Pro.

As such, we're not completely sure how well the Quest 3 will be able to handle multitasking between lots of windows at once. Currently, the Quest UI limits users to running three apps at a time, and all apps are displayed side-by-side like a triple monitor setup. App windows cannot be separated at the moment, but this new update will change that entirely.

While we wait for Meta to reveal more specifics on the update, it would be best to grab some of the best Meta Quest 3 accessories like the BoboVR M3 Pro, a head strap replacement that makes the headset far more comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Official lifestyle imagery of the Augments feature coming to Meta Quest 3 headsets in Fall 2024

(Image credit: Meta)

In addition to free-roaming window capability, Meta has been working toward attracting more developers to create 2D apps for Horizon OS, the operating system that Meta Quest headsets run. Unfortunately, given the relationship between Meta and Google, there's little likelihood that we'll see the Google Play Store on Meta Quest headsets anytime soon.

Meta is currently working on a Meta Quest Pro 2 with LG, which is expected to debut sometime in 2027, meaning the company has plenty of time to get developers onboard with making 2D apps before it tries to match the number of apps on Vision Pro.

In the meantime, Meta and Microsoft announced that Volumetric Apps will be coming to Windows by way of Meta Quest headsets, and it's entirely possible that this ad is referencing some of that functionality in addition to the Quest 3 UI update.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • Mooncatt
    Isn't this already a feature? I know if I walk away from my task bar or settings window, they stay in the physical space unless I grab them and bring them with me. (I know that probably sounds like a really weird description to non-VR users)