(Image credit: Meta)
Meta is rolling out update v57 to your Meta Quest Pro and Oculus Quest 2. This last patch before the Meta Quest 3 launch event later this month is underwhelming compared to previous ones, but it fixes a few snags that should make the Quest 3 feel super–smooth and intuitive on its release.
The biggest change coming in this update is to avatar customization, though Meta is only adding a few tweaks. After updating to v57 you’ll have greater control over your avatar’s skin tone, hair and eyebrow color, and the makeup they’re wearing. These changes should make it easier for your virtual representation to better match your IRL look and style.
Meta’s avatars aren’t just used in its own suite of VR apps like its Horizon Worlds metaverse; they’re also used by a whole bunch of third-party experiences like ForeVR Bowl – a game this writer is a champion in. These new customization options will allow you to bring a more accurate representation of yourself to a wider range of VR activities – and these changes might encourage more devs to support Meta avatars in their software.
Another change is the ability to finally explore more of your Horizon Home – the VR space you first land into when you boot up your headset. Previously you’ve only been able to jump between preset hotspots in the VR space. While this fixed approach is accessible to new VR users, Meta admits that this restriction becomes more and more jarring as you explore other virtual reality experiences and get used to a high degree of freedom that isn’t present in your Horizon Home.
With update v57, Meta is unlocking free-form locomotion, so you can teleport (almost) anywhere in the space. Just push the joystick forward on either controller and an arch will appear that shows you where you’ll travel to – release the joystick when the arch is white and you’ll teleport, but you won’t move if the arch is red.
Lastly, Meta is adding the ability to unsend image messages in VR and in the Meta Quest mobile app – at least for users in Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the US. To unsend a message you just have to hover over the image in VR (or tap on it in the Quest mobile app) and select Unsend to correct any mistakes you may have made by sending the wrong image to the wrong person. The only trace of the old message will be a notification that something was unsent, which the recipient will see instead of the image.
More to come?
This v57 update is a tad disappointing compared to some previous Quest updates that have brought direct touch for hand-tracking, vastly improved video settings, and major CPU and GPU performance upgrades. But with the Meta Quest 3 just around the corner, it makes a bit of sense.
For one, Meta may be saving some big platform changes for an update that releases after the Quest 3 has launched, helping the new headset to feel fresh and exciting from both a hardware and software perspective.
Alternatively, by getting these minor annoyances fixed ahead of the Quest 3 announcement, Meta is leaving the Quest OS in a good spot for a few months while it works on developing any user-requested features that come in after launch.
Most Quest updates typically drop monthly, but the first Quest update after the Quest Pro launch (v47) was released roughly two months after the previous one. That’s likely due to Meta adding features like mixed reality capture and background audio playback that the Quest Pro community was clamoring for very vocally. But these kinds of reactive updates likely take a bit more time to develop, because Meta can’t start working on fixes until users tell it what they want changed.
Meta may be anticipating a similar update schedule for the Quest 3, and so it wants to get rid of some smaller snags now, so that it has the time and capacity to work on more major features that users request.
We won’t know exactly what Meta is up to until the Quest 3 release, however. To find out more about the new headset as soon as it’s announced, be sure to check back with us for our Meta Connect 2023 coverage when the event takes place on September 27.