The Quest Store opens up

Bi-weekly update with the latest insights from the Metaverse: news, posts, creations, and communities.

Hey hey! A bit late this week. We’re launching soon in my day job and things are slightly crazy.

It’s a shorter newsletter this time around. There are still a couple of very interesting essays. We’re used to staying with headlines and short-form content, but it’s worth going deep into topics from time to time.

The WebXR awards are coming soon as well. Make sure to check them out!

On the news

  • Hubs has a new design: Big changes coming to Hubs. There’s a whole new UI for 2D devices instead of having the same interface for all platforms. They’ve also added a full chat sidebar instead of just ephemeral messages like before. We hadn’t heard much from the Hubs team lately, and now we know they were busy with this. [Link]

  • Tilt Brush is now open source: Sad news with a silver lining. Tilt Brush is no longer supported by Google as they continue to de-invest in VR. At least Owlchemy Labs have said that it doesn’t affect them. And the silver lining is that Google has put in tremendous effort to open source the code to keep the app alive. There are already forks out there. It’s one of the most loved VR apps and I don’t think it’s going to die anytime soon. I really hope I’m not wrong on this. [Link]

  • Apps can now easily circumvent Quest Store: App Lab is here. It allows for any application to use the Store infrastructure without being featured in it. Developers can link to their particular Store page, and support updates through it. SideQuest is going to integrate with it, allowing developers to submit a link from App Lab. This should be a great improvement to get more experimental and indie applications and games. These also tend to be the most successful ones that are pushing the boundaries forward. [Link]

Food for Thought

  • Metaverse talks on Gamesbeat: They’ve organized a 2-day virtual event focused on the Metaverse. There have been very interesting talks by the likes of Tim Sweeney and Raph Koster. Definitely worth a look. It’s interesting how after 2020 the word Metaverse and discussions around it have grown exponentially. [Link]

  • Where crypto meets the Metaverse: Piers, a partner at Delphi Digital (a crypto consulting organization), has written a long essay about the importance of crypto for the Metaverse. Of course, there are wide-ranging opinions about this argument, but it’s an option that should be considered. NFTs create a wrapper around a digital asset that allows setting all sorts of rules for its usage while allowing for interoperability. Communities can be self-governed with a good level of trust while maintaining high levels of privacy. Current crypto tech is very inefficient, but scalability solutions that reduce pollution and fees while increasing throughput are already arriving. [Link]

  • Apple’s control affects the Metaverse: Matthew Ball is back with another essay. This time he outlines Apple’s control over their platforms, and the subsequent effect on other tech companies. Apple decides which apps can be downloaded and taxes all payments. As there is no competition possible, neither the taxes nor the pieces they control (browser, identity…) can be improved on. As iPhones are so popular in western countries and throughout the world, they can hold everyone else hostage to this. [Link]

Interesting Meetups & Communities

  • The WebXR awards: They are happening on February 20th at 7 pm GMT. Also, Sophia Moshasha will interview Mr Doob, the creator of Three.js. Should be fun! [Link]


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Thanks for tuning in, that’s it for today. If you find anything interesting that we should post in the next one, reach out via Twitter or Email.

See you in 2 weeks!

Alberto