The list of virtual reality apps for the iPhone is, to be sure, growing rapidly.
Over 230 companies have invested in virtual reality technology and the VR industry shows no sign of slowing down. 2016 has seen an explosion of activity within the VR sphere with headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR entering the consumer space. This comes as no surprise given high hopes for the virtual reality industry – the market is expected to grow by 181.3 percent between 2015 and 2020 according to a forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC).
While VR headsets may seem pricey, there are affordable headsets that let iPhone users enjoy virtual reality apps, such as Google Cardboard. As such, we have compiled a list of 15 of our favorite virtual reality apps for the iPhone that are noteworthy. This list highlights apps that are well-known and highly rated. Please note that this is not a ranking and that these VR apps are arranged alphabetically.
If you think we missed any notable virtual reality apps for the iPhone, or have a particular favorite, please let us know in the Comments section below.
1. Curveball VR
Curveball lets you play ping pong through virtual reality, saving you from buying an actual table. This VR app offers the ability to play with a friend – all you need is WiFi. The app is free and available on iOS.
Taking you straight back to the prehistoric age, Dinotrek is a virtual reality immersive experience that shows you what it would be like to live among dinosaurs. While the experience is limited to approximately two minutes, it’s a fun way to enter the world of VR. Dinotrek is available for iOS and costs $0.99.
3. Discovery VR
The Discovery VR app offers users a new way to explore the world. From shark-infested shipwrecks to gondola rides in Venice, users can immerse themselves in new places from the comfort of their homes. Discovery VR is available for iOS and is free.
Google added a virtual reality option to the Street View app that takes you on virtual tours across the globe. Accessing the VR option is easy – simply open up the Street View app, search for a location and tap the Google cardboard icon on the upper right hand corner. The app requires a VR headset such as Google Cardboard to work. It is free and available on iOS.
5. GoPro VR
Famous for their point-of-view videos, GoPro now offer an app that gives 360-degree views and a virtual reality experience. The app is home to a host of GoPro VR video content and is available to download for iOS. GoPro VR is a free app.
6. InCell VR
InCell is a beautifully designed racing game in which the player is fighting inside a human body, destroying viruses and protecting the host’s cell. The game is fast-paced and users have noted that the game can make one slightly nauseous from motion sickness (which, admittedly, is a problem for a variety of VR solutions). InCell is available for iOS users to download for free from the App Store.
7. Jaunt VR
Receiving a 4 and a half star rating on the App Store, Jaunt offers over 100 “cinematic” videos to immerse yourself in. There is no need for a Bluetooth remote as the interface allows you to navigate by looking at menu options and buttons. This app is free to download and available on iOS.
8. NYT VR
Instead of passively consuming the news, this VR app from the New York Times lets you dive right into the action. The news stories within the app are curated by the New York Times and gives users a deeper, more personal insight. The app is available for download on iOS and is free.
The Orbulus Special Edition VR app offers a delightful look at user-supplied destinations through 360-degree photo spheres. By simply looking at an orb, you are transported to that place, whether it be the Salt Flats or Mars. Orbulus Special edition is free and available for iOS.
10. Relax VR
While most meditate with their eyes shut, this app provides you with a variety of beautiful locations around the world to help you relax and wind down. The Relax VR app also offers guided meditations – coupled with a variety of scenic locations, the app offers a way to briefly escape the stresses of reality. This virtual reality app is available for iOS and costs $1.99.
This virtual reality app is not for the faint of heart – Sisters transports you to a haunted house where the sinister tale of the deadly “Sisters” slowly unravels. A short yet scary experience with creepy surprises peppered throughout. Sisters is a free virtual reality app and available for download on iOS.
12. Star Chart VR
Star Chart is a must-have for all astronomy lovers. From seeing Saturn’s rings up close to checking out all 88 star constellations, the VR app lets you explore the solar system in real-time. The app costs $4.99 and is available on iOS.
13. VR Funfair
Wish you were at Disneyworld but live across the country? The VR Funfair app offers to satisfy your theme park desires. Simply select your ride by looking at the center for a couple of seconds, and go! There are 24 rides total, but only 3 come included, and the rest need to be purchased. The app is free and can be downloaded by iOS users.
14. Within (formerly VRSE)
This is a collection of VR content that immerses the user in a world of stories. Known for their short film “Clouds Over Sidra,” Within has partnered with companies such as the New York Times and the United Nations to bring exclusive content to users. The VR app is free and available on iOS.
This May, the Youtube app for iOS had a noticeable update—Google Cardboard support. This allows users to watch 360-degree Youtube videos in virtual reality, using a headset such as Google Cardboard. The app is free and available for download on iOS.