Galaxy Beta Nougat Preview breaks Gear VR compatibility

Living on the cutting edge sometimes comes at a price. For owners of a Gear VR headset and compatible smartphone, that cost cuts deep. Such owners who have enrolled into Samsung's Galaxy Beta Program in order to be one of the first to experience Android 7.0 Nougat on their devices have discovered, perhaps to their dismay, that their smartphones could no longer work with their virtual reality headsets. That leaves these users with no choice but to leave the program and go back a step if they want to still use the Gear VR. That is, if they still can.

It's not exactly a bug per se, but it does reveal how some apps and experiences are still not compatible with Nougat, even months after it's launch. At the core of the problem is the fact that Oculus' Gear VR support still hasn't been adapted to Android 7.0, causing a compatibility issue.

It's also hard to say if Samsung was aware of that particular problem when it started rolling out the Nougat preview to testers. If it wasn't, then they probably didn't make compatibility with its own Gear VR a priority. If it did know there was an issue, it definitely didn't communicate that clearly enough, catching users by surprise. Either way, now that the cat's out of the bag, we can only hope that Samsung and Oculus will work together to fix it before the final rollout. That is, if they're interested at all.

Galaxy Beta participants who were bitten by the problem now have two choices. Either they keep Nougat and wait for such a fix to be made available, if at all, or, if using the Gear VR is critical to them, they can always opt out of the program, at which point they'll be able to roll back to the current stable, non-Nougat version for their device.

Sadly, that only works for those who installed the preview via official means, through Samsung's Galaxy Beta app. Those who flashed Nougat through something like ODIN won't have an easy time going back. At least not without wiping their device clean.

VIA: VR Heads