Google has ended its support for the virtual reality app Expeditions, so that the app, which was offering educational tours in virtual reality, will be removed from the iOS and Android app stores on June 30, 2021.
Most of the tech companies invested in virtual reality five years ago and saw it in the future, and one of Google’s efforts was to use virtual reality as a way to allow students to go on virtual field trips.
Most of the app tours should migrate to the separate Arts & Culture app from Google, allowing users to watch the tours via the web or mobile device.
The research giant published the news in a blog and drafted the decision on making Expeditions tours accessible to students during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Given that the Arts and Culture app offers so many Expeditions rounds, we’re not going to support Expeditions anymore,” wrote Jennifer Holland, Director of Education Programs at Google.
She added: We realized that immersive experiences with virtual reality glasses are not always within the reach of all learners, and we hope this provides teachers with a bridge to continue using immersive content to transform their classrooms and enrich the learning experience for their students.
Google launched the app for its Cardboard VR virtual reality glasses in 2015 as a limited access experience for educators.
After a year, it made the app available to everyone on Android, and continued to sell Expedition’s proprietary kits that included a tablet, phones, Cardboard VR goggles, and a virtual field trip router.
Tours of the app included 360-degree panoramas to see museums, festivals, and distant wonders of the world.
Google has since rolled back virtual reality, the company discontinued its Daydream VR platform and last year made Cardboard VR an open-source community project.
Expeditions does better than Daydream by integrating it into the Arts & Culture app, which is home to museum collections and other augmented reality experiences, and you can also view some Arts & Culture app content via Cardboard VR.
Google also ends support for the Tour Creator feature, which allows people to conduct their own tours in Expeditions, so that the Tour Creator feature will not be available after June 30 of next year.
Google is allowing users to export assets from their current rounds in the coming months.