To view VR videos, just enable the 'VR mode' in a VR video on your YouTube app and place your smartphone in Alphabet's hand-held Cardboard device. As of now, there are only a dozen VR videos on YouTube, but you can also view a large number of videos with limited VR experience on Cardboard as well. According to YouTube, these videos will look like one on an IMAX theatre screen.
YouTube to allow 360-degree videos on the site soon
However, Cardboard can play only those VR videos which were made compatible with the Cardboard viewer before being uploaded to YouTube.
Back in January, a Google spokesperson suggested that YouTube will start allowing users to upload videos taken from special 360° cameras that may make use of virtual reality headsets. Since viewing 360° videos is impossible on flat screens, those wishing to view it need to own VR headsets like Oculus or Cardboard.
The move to make Android and iOS apps VR-capable seems to be part of YouTube's long term approach of targeting the lucrative mobile business.
YouTube goes full throttle on mobile and VR business
“For us, most of our focus is on mobile: product development for mobile, content development for mobile, making sure mobile video works on carrier networks all around the world. It’s all mobile, mobile, mobile,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations in June.
“We may see traction coming out of India and not Europe, or out of Latin America and not the US… The short answer [to whether VR will be big] is I don’t know. We don’t know. But we know it’s going to be important in some fashion,” he added.
YouTube's paid subscription service: What's in it for you
YouTube has also started its new paid subscription service which costs just £6.50 a month, offering you access to Google Play service, YouTube gaming as well as the ability to download and watch online content. However, the service is yet to roll out in the UK.