Lets talk about space, the irritating frontier.
VR Games and Apps can be a storage hog and with many Android phones not having expandable storage it’s important to know what you can install and what you can’t. When you first start using VR you want to fill your phone with all the amazing apps and games but they will fast eat up all your space. Here’s a low down on the most storage hungry apps.
Note: The following storage guidelines are based on averages from multiple apps. Your actual mileage may vary.
The Daydream App
The Daydream app from Google is essential to using your Daydream viewer and is only 47mb so will fit on any phone with ease. There is a small cache of around 20mb but as it is the only way to make it work it doesn’t really matter how big it is. You also have the VR Services app but that is installed with a daydream compatible device so is baked right in.
Games are always the biggest apps you can have on your phone. Most VR games run to around 1gb but there are smaller and larger ones. Games that are Graphically intensive like Gunjack 2 or Arcslinger will run you over 1gb each whilst more puzzle style games like Agent Hawk can be as little 60mb-75mb.
I think your best bet is to assume at least 1gb per game, that way you have room for the inevitable updates and caches that come along. Normally you would want to limit the amount of games you put on your phone anyway so you are probably used to it. Unless you have a 128gb Pixel 2 XL, then you can go nuts.
One of the great things about streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and the like, is the small amount of storage they actually take. Because nothing is really stored on your device, except the pretty backgrounds, you can get away with having a lot of them on your phone.
Each one is less than 100mb, consisting mainly of small thumbnails of the movies you can stream, so you can use any and all of your streaming services. Most people only use one or two streaming service but be warned, if you download videos for offline viewing, say for a plane ride, you will soak up a lot of storage. The average TV show is around 500mb and movies can be over 1gb so be prepared to max out your phones storage to watch stuff offline.
And the Rest
Apps that don’t fall in to the other two categories tend to be relatively small. Most of them like Panorama viewers, Museum tours, and Travel guides are really just place holders for relatively small photos. These can be anywhere from 20mb to up to 100mb , meaning you can saturate your high end smartphone with them and never really have worry.
Some of the larger, education programs may push towards the 400mb mark but they are very few and far between so you aren’t likely to have many on your phone and a lot of the time they are play-once-and-uninstall apps, not really the kind you keep.
So what are our totals?
After having done some research while using as many different Daydream apps as I can find, in as many different combinations as I can, I think I have some solid numbers.
If you are a game orientated VR user then expect to need at least 10gb of your overall space for a good VR experience. This is fine if you are using the S8, and Pixel 2, but an issue if, like me, you are using the OG Pixel. on a 32gb phone 10gb is just too much. If all you want is to watch Netflix, Hulu, et al, then 3gb-5gb is more than adequate. Streaming services really do save you a lot of space and keep the storage needs low.
The best way to use VR and to maintain a healthy storage amount is to simply rotate apps. By only having 1 or 2 games on your device at any time you can significantly reduce the load on your storage. Play Gunjack for a few days then swap it for Arcslinger, then swap back to Gunjack. Rotating your apps will mean you always have room for selfies and landscapes and thats really all any of us want anyway.
What apps do you guys feel are essential for your daydream, regardless of their storage needs? Do you rotate apps or just leave them all on? Let us know in the comments!