Google is officially shutting down its Expeditions virtual reality app. The app debuted as a way for users to experience immersive, educational “tours” in VR, which Google is ending support for.
The app will be removed from the App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android users, according to a recent blog post. Expeditions originally debuted for Google’s Cardboard VR viewer in 2015, with plans for classrooms to receive boxes of Cardboard units planned for virtual field trips, including experiences at museums and other educational areas around the world. Google ended up discontinuing its Daydream VR platform as well, and now Cardboard has been relegated to an open-source community project.
The idea behind pulling Expeditions down is making the experience more accessible to students caught in the middle of education woes during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve heard and recognize that immersive experiences with VR headsets are not always accessible to all learners,” said Jennifer Holland, Google’s director of education program management. “As Arts & Culture will offer many of the Expeditions tours, we’ll no longer support the Expeditions app.”
Expeditions functionality will still be marginally available in the future, except it will largely be added to the Arts & Culture app for future use. However, the Tour Creator feature within Expeditions will no longer be available following June 30, 2021.