Meta Quest Ditches App Lab Digital Storefront

Meta to soon stop operations of its early access application storefront

Meta Reality Labs Faces Potential Shutdown Over Health and Safety Citation
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Published: July 9, 2024


Rory Greener

This week, Meta announced that it would cease its App Lab storefront operations starting August 5th. This means users can no longer use the storefront to debut and test early access or experimental services; instead, users and developers will need to use the conventional Quest digital storefront to release all applications, including under-development ones.

This news means that Meta will permanently drop the service. Initially, Meta set up the App Lab storefront to provide a space for developers to distribute experimental or under-development VR/AR/MR applications, either for a niche market—such as training apps—or early access users.

Starting on August 5th, the firm will move all App Lab applications to the Quest digital storefront, including all services marked under development, under review, and completed. Moreover, to assist application developers with the App Labs transition by providing recommended steps and details about launching on the Meta Quest digital storefront.

Some of the lesser steps App Labs developers need to undertake before the transition include reviewing Virtual Reality Checks (VRC) and metadata. Moreover, Meta provides transitioned applications with an “Early Access badge” that allows users to understand if an available application is still under development.

Meta also recommends that App Labs services consider integrating scalable resources into their applications, including cloud and matchmaking tools. The new suggested tools can help developers manage a potential increase in users.

Meta Optimizes Headset Portfolio Ahead of Connect 2024

The App Lab news comes as Meta seemingly optimizes its Qurst product portfolio and related digital services ahead of Meta Connect 2024-the firm’s technology showcase event.

Most recently, Meta announced it will no longer support security operations on its Meta Quest 1 device. The company will provide security and bug fixes for the older device until August 31st, 2024.

In an email, Meta explained that Quest 1 devices containing sensitive user or business data may be vulnerable to security breaches. Meta is shifting its focus and resources away from Quest 1 as it transitions to new XR technology.

Moreover, support for new apps on the original Meta Quest headset ended on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Developers can no longer upload new apps or updates for Quest 1 to the Meta Store. Meta will prevent developers from continuing to support users of the older headsets so that they can concentrate on the Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro models.

Meta also officially announced, on March 5, 2023, the first drop of support for its Quest 1 VR headset. Last year’s move terminated Meta Quest 1 user access to Horizon, the Menlo Park-based firm’s Metaverse service, whereby Meta will no longer add new features to its legacy device, and users cannot create parties.

With the App Labs closure and dropping Quest 1 support, Meta is refining its operations and focusing on a new potential product later in the year.

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