The Meta Quest Pro is not perfect. It is certainly a device that shoots for the stars to land among the clouds. And while this platform, and this technology as a whole, is still in its infancy, the available app ecosystem is surprisingly extensive.
Meta has done a good job of handling the basics: a web browser, a file browser, a notification center, messaging, and virtual meeting apps — for both work and personal use. But beyond that, VR headsets are designed for immersive experiences, and many of the best Quest Pro apps are built specifically for VR. These are the ones that have me glued to my headset whether it’s for work or play.
The #1 use case for working in VR is designing in 3D. The ability to reach out, grab, and manipulate a model by hand is incredibly liberating and removes UI barriers to visualization.
As Meta announced, Adobe is launching a Meta Quest version of its Substance 3D app, a professional modeling app built for popular games such as Fourteen daysthe Halo franchise and Microsoft flight simulator. Unfortunately, Substance 3D won’t be released until sometime in 2023.
Luckily, there are several other solutions for immediate use. Gravity Sketch is another powerful 3D modeling tool that makes it easy to create everything from fluid, organic shapes to precise technical drawings. Gravity Sketch is free for individuals, with a gigabyte of cloud storage for storing projects.
Lightness and power aside, there’s something magical about reaching up, grabbing your virtual VR headset and “pulling it off” to reveal your 3D model in your living room or office via passthrough, and then repeating that movement to return to full VR mode. Since it’s free, this is a must-try app, even if you don’t expect to need to create 3D models for work.
ShapesXR offers another unique way to design in VR. Though it’s intended as a user interface design tool, you don’t need to be working on an app or website to reap the value of this full-featured 3D prototyping app that can integrate 2D elements and show the result in VR or mixed Reality.
Painting on a canvas is primarily a two-dimensional art form, but there are several Quest apps that allow you to explore your creativity with a variety of brushes and tools without having to set up an easel. Painting VR and Vermillion provide everything you need to create your next masterpiece while eliminating brush cleaning duties.
Meetings and chats in VR
Video calls and meetings are often a part of the job, and Meta includes a few different solutions built into Quest Pro. Horizon Workrooms is a virtual meeting room where other Quest owners can join you in the form of an avatar. People without a Quest VR headset can still join the meeting and appear on a screen in the virtual room via their webcam when connecting from a computer.
Despite the teasing, meta’s avatars aren’t that bad, especially if you own a Quest Pro that allows your facial expressions and eye movements to animate your avatar. It brings to life the 3D character you customize and dress up. The sense of presence when meeting in VR as an avatar adds a greater sense of connectedness than would be possible with a video call, but you might miss unspoken or subtle expressions in VR.
Metas Horizon Worlds is another virtual hangout, but it’s meant for face-to-face hangouts. While Horizon Workrooms features boardrooms, whiteboards, and desks for invited staff, Horizon Worlds includes dozens of custom worlds as public spaces that anyone can join.
Meta also includes Facebook Messenger integration, but this works as a 2D app and appears as a rectangular screen floating in your view. Three 2D apps can be placed, rearranged and resized side by side to fill an entire wall, providing additional value when using flat screens in a 360 virtual world.
It’s also possible to meet friends and colleagues in your personal home area, which appears when you put on your headset for the first time. It seems that Meta is trying to offer different ways to stay connected in VR, and with the Quest Pro’s open sides and color passthrough option, you don’t need to feel disconnected from your friends and co-workers unless , you choose to silence notifications and stay in full VR mode with light blockers attached.
VR Chat, Altspace VR, and Rec Room are popular VR worlds that are available on both the Quest Pro and other VR headsets. Finally, meetings and collaborative work appear to be common features across many productivity apps available for the Quest Pro. The latest Quest apps provide a way to connect with others, show off your work, and invite participation.
Meta includes a good browser in the Quest Pro, and that’s crucial since so much work is done in a browser these days. It is based on Chromium, the open-source project that forms the basis of Google’s Chrome and several other browsers. The Quest Browser has bookmarks and can save passwords that will auto-fill if you allow Meta to save them for you. It supports tabs and up to three windows that can be resized to different aspect ratios. This is handy for opening a tall, narrow window for skimming your Twitter feed and a wide, squat window for watching videos on YouTube.
Unfortunately, the quest browser also proves to be disappointing in some respects. For example, it will not sync with your desktop browser or your phone browser. It’s also fairly limited compared to Chrome in that it doesn’t have extensions and tab groups. The Quest Browser seems trapped in a confusing realm between desktop and mobile that will be familiar to iPad and tablet owners. You have the option to request the desktop or mobile version of a website, but that doesn’t always help solve web app issues.
There are other solutions and Wolvic browser restores some missing features of Quest browser. Most notably, it can be synced with the desktop and mobile versions of Firefox browser. Wolvic is also available on other VR headsets, so it’s a great way to transport tabs and bookmarks between multiple devices.
Wolvic works as a VR app and while it supports three windows, it can’t multitask with 2D apps like the Quest Browser. Wolvic has a few extensions and can save web images that Quest can’t, meaning there’s a good reason to install and use both.
A better web browser is badly needed for the Quest Pro to be closer to the experience you’d expect from a laptop or desktop computer, and if Meta is serious about using its VR headsets for work, that really should be a top priority to have. Eventually, augmented reality (AR) and VR apps will replace flat screen work. In the meantime, an improved browser would bring the Quest Pro much closer to being a laptop replacement.
Remote Desktop Apps
Meta’s Horizon Workrooms now includes a remote desktop feature that lets you bring your Mac or Windows PC screens into VR. Workrooms does the work and displays up to three virtual screens from your computer. Meta already has a more accessible app called Remote Display in beta testing, which will allow multitasking alongside the Quest browser, app launcher, and other 2D apps. Horizon Workrooms also enables VR meetings and will integrate Microsoft Teams in 2023.
There are other and better solutions for accessing your computer from VR. Immersed and Virtual Desktop are third-party apps that addressed this problem long before Meta released Horizon Workrooms, and each offers a greater range of customization and control. Immersed is free for a basic account and offers upgrades for more features. Virtual Desktop has a one-time fee that’s pretty affordable.
With three options to choose from, you can use the Quest Pro as often as possible and fall back on your computer if you find an app or feature that’s missing.
If you have specific workflow needs, there are many specialized apps that could prove invaluable, and you’ll need to spend some time in the Quest App Store and possibly SideQuest looking for these solutions.
For example, Noda is an excellent three-dimensional mind mapping tool. Nanome helps teachers and students understand atomic and molecular structures. Solution support for building planning and maintenance checks. The list will grow rapidly based on the current trend.
Of course, the Meta Quest Pro isn’t just a productivity device, and you should definitely check out what immersive VR gaming has to offer. Red substance 2 Leverages Quest Pro’s advanced eye-tracking capabilities with foveated rendering that boosts resolution without slowing framerate. classic like beat saber and pistol whip are at your disposal when you have a few minutes to relax from your busy day.
The Quest Pro also tracks your movement, so your game counts toward your fitness goals. To amplify that dramatically, check out Supernatural and FitXR, the #1 workout apps on the Quest App Store. By adding music and playing fitness, you’ll work up a sweat while having fun.
To a good start
I’ve found Meta Quest Pro to be a remarkable device that can help you stay productive, entertained, and sane once I find the right apps.
The Quest Pro is a cutting-edge device that helps reinvent much of what we all take for granted. That means it’s best to explore with an open mind and be willing to explore new avenues or find workarounds until Meta’s App Store and Quest OS provide the perfect apps and environments to meet all your needs , both at work and at home .