Meta is finally giving the Quest the UI overhaul it needs

The Google Play Store on a Google Pixel 8 Pro in front of a Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Meta is currently working on a UI overhaul for its Quest line of VR headsets.
  • The overhaul is said to be "reworking the core UI infrastructure in order to enable a richer environment."
  • There's no timeline, but Meta's CTO says it's been in the works "for a long time."

Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth says that the company is currently working on a "rework of the core UI infrastructure" for its Meta Quest headsets, hoping to deliver a better user experience and "a richer environment" for its users.

Bosworth held his latest AMA on Instagram on February 14, answering questions from comments on his posts. When asked about when we'll be seeing UI updates for headsets like the Meta Quest 3, Bosworth wasn't willing to commit to a timeline but teased what many users have been asking for.

A common thread on X (formerly Twitter), Reddit, and the company's own social platform is that the Meta Quest UI is often confusing and convoluted, making it difficult for users to find what they want. Meta regularly makes changes to its OS — which is based on Android — and has significantly improved it over the years. Still, ever since Apple Vision Pro was released, many people have realized just how much better it still needs to get.

Meta's Direct Touch UI, introduced in firmware V50 in 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

While Bosworth wouldn't comment on specifics for the update, his comments about creating "a richer environment" seem to suggest that the company is working on ways to better incorporate mixed reality into the UI. Currently, mixed reality windows are placed side-by-side with a limitation of three apps (or windows) running at once.

Apple Vision Pro allows users to place windows and apps anywhere in the virtual space, retaining their position as they move around. Meta's headset also retains the window position in relative 3D space, but you cannot move individual windows around.

Meta has been working on Augments since the Quest 3 was announced, which are mixed reality gadgets that work similarly to widgets on a smartphone home screen. Meta is even said to have moved resources from its AR team over to the VR side to accelerate augment development, further integrating mixed-reality experiences into the Quest UI.

A big UI overhaul could include the ability to place windows and apps anywhere in mixed reality.

In the AMA, Bosworth commented that Meta might soon remove the three-window limitation when working in Horizon Workrooms, the company's bespoke work software that enables you to have up to three virtual monitors when paired to a computer.

He noted that three windows were the initial limitation because people's computer performance "suffered" when using more.

Like CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Bosworth also took the time to comment on the differences between Apple Vision Pro and Meta's latest headset, the Quest 3. Similar to Zuckerberg, Bosworth notes that the Quest 3 isn't just the better value; it's the better headset for most people.

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