What is Google VR Services? – Full Breakdown, Tips, FAQs & More

You may have noticed Google VR Services running in the background of your smartphone but do not know what it is. 

It’s actually an application by Google that allows your phone to function properly with VR headsets such as Daydream and Cardboard. 

This post aims to explain how the app works, why it’s probably present in your phone and how you can fix common issues that occur with it. 

Quick Summary

This post discusses:

  • What Google VR Services are and how they work
  • What Google Daydream is
  • What Google Cardboard is
  • Do you really need Google VR Services on your smartphone? 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What are Google VR Services? 

Google VR Services is an app that runs in the background of your smartphone to detect if any VR headset has been connected to it. 

What are Google VR Services? 

When a compatible VR headset gets connected to it, the app springs into action. 

Google VR Services works by adding a split-screen effect to your phone. It allows your phone to display the images in this form so that when your phone is put into an appropriate VR headset, it’ll give the illusion of virtual reality. 

That’s pretty much the basis of how all smartphone-based VR headsets work. 

Whenever you change the position or orientation of your head with the VR headset on, all this movement is tracked by the headset. This movement is then translated by whatever VR app or game you are playing, into motion.

Hence, your real-life movement is first recorded and then translated into in-game movements by the VR app or game that you are playing.

Your smartphone’s sensors also play a huge role in all of this. They are constantly running and pick up any movement that occurs. 

Once they pick up said movement, they send these changes in position to the appropriate apps such as Cardboard or Daydream. Either that or they’re sent to the VR app that you are using or the VR game that you are playing so that the motion can be appropriately translated. 

The job of Google VR Services is to ensure these messages get sent properly. 

Hence, all of the readings that the sensors pick up that are sent to the apps to be translated are appropriately sent due to Google VR Services. You can think of Google VR Services as the “train” on top of which all these messages sit to get transferred to their appropriate destinations.

What is Google Daydream?

Google Daydream is a VR headset from Google that came out all the way back in 2016. 

What is Google Cardboard?

It got discontinued in 2019 but during the time that it was available, it was one of the most affordable options when it comes to experiencing virtual reality. 

Google and Samsung were really the two pioneers when it comes to creating VR headsets that could be utilized with smartphones. 

Google Daydream is Google’s iteration of the mobile-based VR headset. It’s what connects to your smartphone and utilizes Google VR Services to appropriately run VR apps and games. 

What is Google Cardboard?

Google Cardboard is another iteration of a VR headset that was released by Google. 

Do You Need Google VR Services on Your Smartphone? 


It’s an even cheaper option than the Google Daydream and definitely something one can buy if they want to get into VR. It’s the perfect thing if you want to experience what VR is all about before you spend a hefty amount of cash to get something high-end. 

This gives you the brief experience of the best qualities that VR has to offer and lays the foundations for it. 

It’s also a VR headset that’s compatible with Google VR Services, and it requires the app in order to function properly. 

Do You Need Google VR Services on Your Smartphone? 

This is really a question of what your particular needs are and what you intend to use your smartphone for. 

The fact of the matter is that VR headsets such as Google Cardboard and Daydream are discontinued at this point. While they are still available through third-party sellers, Google itself has discontinued support for them. 

Hence, in most cases, you won’t really buy those VR headsets now if you’re trying to get into VR. 

The only time when you’d still need it is if you have an old Cardboard or Daydream headset lying around and want to use it. 

Other than that, you don’t really need Google VR Services if you don’t have a VR headset and don’t intend to buy one either. In this case, you can uninstall it to save space and battery life. 

Is Google VR Services Needed for Third-Party VR Headsets? 

It depends. If you intend to use the third-party VR headset to run apps that are not associated with Google, then you don’t really need it. 

However, if you intend to use the third-party VR headset to run old Cardboard or Daydream apps, then you’ll most definitely need it. 

However, it’s not something that is lost once you uninstall it. You can still easily download and reinstall Google VR Services from the Play Store. 

Hence, we’d definitely recommend that you uninstall Google VR Services if you’re someone that does not utilize any Google Cardboard or Daydream apps on their smartphone. 

It’s just hogging up space, slowing down your phone and draining its battery life. 

Just uninstall it and if you ever buy a VR headset in the future and want to run a Cardboard or Daydream app with it, you can just reinstall Google VR Services again. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is Google VR Services Used For? 

It’s used to properly integrate the functionality of the Cardboard and Daydream VR headsets with your smartphone. 

It’s also utilized to properly run Google Cardboard and Daydream apps that are present on the Play Store.

How Do I Uninstall Google VR Services? 

You can uninstall Google VR Services in the same way you’d uninstall any app: 

  • Go to Settings 
  • Go to Apps 
  • In the app list, find Google VR Services and tap it. 
  • Tap Uninstall. 

How Do I Reinstall Google VR Services? 

You can easily reinstall Google VR Services by going to the Play Store and searching for it. 

From there, you can download it onto your smartphone again and install it with ease. 

What Type of Technology is Google VR Services Compatible With? 

Google VR Services is an app that works with and is compatible with both augmented reality (AR) as well as virtual reality (VR).

What are the 3 Types of Virtual Reality? 

When it comes to virtual reality systems that are in use and being researched today, there are 3 broad categories: 

  1. Non-immersive
  2. Semi-immersive
  3. Fully-immersive

Wrapping Things Up…

So that’s what Google VR Services are and how they work. 

As you can see, they are very similar to Samsung VR Services and the way they work. However, unlike Samsung VR Services, the Google VR Services app is not as intrusive and does not get in the way of everyday usage of your smartphone. 

Still, though, it’s a good idea to uninstall it if you’re not using your phone for virtual reality. 

Author

  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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