What you need to know
- The Quest v57 update is "gradually" rolling out starting on September 11.
- The update makes changes to Horizon Home, avatar creation, social gatherings, app multitasking, video recording settings, and more.
- Some mixed-reality apps will now "no longer trigger a boundary warning" when you go beyond the Guardian.
The Meta Quest v57 update is letting developers fully disable the Guardian for the first time, setting the stage for these new XR apps. The Guardian system is a boundary that warns you when you've left your safe, furniture-free VR space. However, with the Quest 3's use of a high-res full-color passthrough camera that lets you see your home surroundings, Guardian is a bit superfluous for apps that are always in mixed-reality mode.
The higher-resolution Quest 3 should provide little issue staying aware, but Quest 2 owners will have to be more careful. It's one Quest 3 vs. Quest 2 difference that may make you want to upgrade.
This future-proofing change aside, the headline feature for the Quest v57 update is Horizon Feed (pictured above). A replacement for the default "Explore" mode, the Feed is "your go-to to find content relevant to your passions and interests," highlighting recommended games, apps, and Instagram Reels.
Meta warns that you "may not see these changes right away," even after your Quest receives the v57 update, because Feed and other features are rolling out "gradually."
Within your Horizon Home environment, you'll now be able to teleport to any portion of the space that isn't blocked by walls or furniture instead of being restricted to hotspots. You can simply point your joystick forward and see a line pointing you to where you can warp yourself; if the circle turns red, you can't go there.
Next, Meta has added new customization options for your avatar's hair, eyebrow color, skin tone, makeup, and face paint, with an emphasis on "representation."
If you're ready to show off your new avatar to friends, you're in luck. Meta has made it so that your Contacts list automatically opens when you first turn on the Quest 2, so you can join parties quickly. The update also adds shareable group links that you can share over Messenger (or other apps); and you can now invite Groups to join you in a specific app or game for the first time, via the People tab.
And speaking of messages, v57 lets you unsend image messages — either within the headset or through the Quest app — for the first time.
Otherwise, this Quest v57 update is definitely more focused on tweaks than major new features. Here are the rest of the changes mentioned in the update log:
- You can now decide whether or not your mic audio is included when recording in-headset video footage, by default instead of a case-by-case basis.
- The app multitasking layout now lets you "use multiple apps simultaneously in a near and far configuration" and switch views from the Quick Settings panel.
- The Guide app has a new hand-tracking tutorial showing how to use Direct Touch controls.
- An iOS feature that let you "simultaneously capture your VR experience and your real-life experience using your phone camera" is being removed.
You can see the full release notes at that link. Interestingly, the notes make no mention of Quest avatars adding legs, something that Meta announced last month and promised would arrive within the "next few weeks."
We expect that the v58 update will probably arrive around Meta Connect on September 27, or the Quest 3 launch in October, and that it'll have several more significant feature upgrades in store.
The Meta Quest 2 is still the best and least expensive way to get into VR. At nearly half the price of the upcoming Quest 3, it's a great way to play the best VR games for less.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
Here is a better take on the new landing page: https://www.roadtovr.com/meta-quest-v57-update-app-library-explore-horizon-feed/Reply
Android Central just uncritically gobbles it up. And everything gets crummier.
You know, this is a really fair criticism. I was focused on the mixed-reality aspect, and while I thought privately that Horizon Feed looked like a meaningless rebrand, I didn't do a good job of focusing on that. I'll keep that in mind for next time.Reply
Thank you for that response. It really seems like people are resigned to the path of 'enshitification," but that can be changed.Reply