The State of the Store
Can you still buy apps? Let's find out.
Email from Oculus - April 4, 2020:
"Since you’re an owner and active user of Gear VR, we wanted to inform you of some upcoming changes for the product.
As our focus is on delivering great experiences that take advantage of the latest VR technology, we won’t be releasing any new features for Gear VR in the future, and we won’t be adding new Gear VR apps to the Oculus Store after September 15, 2020. That said, you’ll still be able to use your Gear VR, use the apps in your Library, and download Gear VR apps from the Oculus Store as usual."
It's now 2023 and this statement is mostly correct. Yes you can still use your Gear VR (with restrictions) and you can still download your apps (although not every app can still be downloaded). But what about purchasing apps?
The Gear VR Store
There were three different ways to access the Oculus store for Samsung Gear VR - the web, inside the headset, and using the mobile app. Let's look at each option.
The Web - GONE
Early October 2023, Meta updated their web presence and the web store is now gone.
Inside the Headset - GONE
Attempting to access the Store page inside the headset results in a brief flash of the outline of the store pages, that then disappears. So it's no longer possible to buy paid apps or add free apps to your library from inside the headset.
The Oculus App (Gear VR version) - BROKEN
We don't know how long this has been the case, but it's no longer possible to add free or paid apps to your library using the app. Attempting to do so results in "Execution of this query is blocked" error.
The Oculus Go Store
As the majority of Oculus Go apps are also compatible with the Gear VR, is it possible to use the Oculus Go store as a workaround?
Unfortunately the answer is no. If you purchase a Gear VR compatible app from the Oculus Go store, it will only be added to your Oculus Go library, not your Gear VR library. You can extract the APK from your Oculus Go and then sideload it onto your Gear VR, though I'm not sure how many people would want or need to do this.
The Oculus Go Web Store - GONE
Just like the Gear VR, with the October 2023 overhaul of the Meta website, the Go store is also gone.
Inside the Headset - GONE
Again, same as the Gear VR. Clicking on the Store icon will result in a brief "Loading" screen followed by nothing. The "Loading" screen only appears the first attempt after boot up.
The Meta Quest App - WORKS
Finally some good news! As the Oculus Go uses the same app as the Meta Quest series, it still works. You can add free and paid apps to your library using this method. The only question is, for how long?