The Meta Quest App Lab is being shut down

The Meta Quest App Lab is being shut down
If you’ve been a part of the Quest ecosystem for a while, you probably know of the Meta App Lab. Starting next month, the App Lab will be shut down and App Lab titles will be merged with the Horizon Store. This follows Meta’s last decision to make App Lab visible on the store, and will help developers get their apps noticed more.

The App Lab is where in-development Quest apps were uploaded instead of on the Horizon Store proper. This includes Early Access, Alpha and Beta versions of Quest apps. However, anything uploaded to the App Lab was a hassle to find. You would need to enter the exact title or know the URL to visit an app’s App Lab page.

A while ago Meta made App Lab visible on the Horizon Store. It showed up as a new category users could open and discover apps and games in. This already massively increased the chances of in-development apps being noticed and becoming popular. But now Meta is completely phasing out the App Lab in favor of a more unified Horizon Store.

The change will come into effect from August 5. In-development apps and VR games will now need to be tagged as Early Access. This should help these apps and games gain a following long before they’re ready for a full release.

Phasing out the App Lab and making its titles more discoverable is just one way Meta is empowering creators on its platforms. The company is fully invested in making XR (Extended Reality) the future of computing. Less than a month ago, Meta announced it would fund novel Mixed Reality apps. The latest Quest update — v67 — is also empowering creators by displaying their content on the Horizon Feed.

And not to mention the fact that Meta made its Quest OS open to third parties recently. If XR does become the future of computing, and I really hope it does, then Meta will be in a very enviable position as the de facto provider of XR services.
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