Multitasking is now available for some Quest 2 users, which brings more Infinite Office functionality as well as improved Android mobile app integration.
Multitasking was promised as part of the v30 update for Oculus Quest. However, the feature never rolled out for users even after downloading v30 or updating to v31 a few weeks later. It seems the feature is being turned on for some users, available in the Experimental Features menu. When turned on, multitasking lets users drag an app from their Quest taskbar and use it in tandem with up to 2 other adjacent apps or windows. It works similarly to opening multiple tabs next to each other in the Oculus Browser, but with the addition of all the apps available in Quest Home — Oculus Browser, Store, Move etc.
To start using multitasking, simply turn it on under Experimental Features in your Quest settings and then drag an Oculus Home icon from your toolbar to one of the open positions next to an existing browser window.
Android App Integration
The addition of multitasking functionality also significantly improved the performance and management of mobile Android apps running on Quest 2.
The Quest 2 doesn’t officially support mobile Android apps just yet, however, users are able to download APKs online and install them using SideQuest to be used as a 2D app on Quest. This has always been possible, but the new multitasking features on Quest make running Android versions of mobile apps such as Apple Music, Netflix and Hearthstone much easier than before, while also fixing a few quirks.
Just like a Quest Home app, an Android mobile app sideloaded via SideQuest can be dragged into a multitasking slot and be used at the same time as other Android or Quest Home apps. In the past, there was no clear way to completely close an Android mobile app on Quest. This often meant the app remained open in the background until you did a full restart of your headset. The new exit and minimize buttons from the multitasking UI solve this problem — exit fully closes the Android app, while minimize closes the window but may preserve its state for the next time you open it.
In our testing, we were able to install and use Netflix, Apple Music and Hearthstone Android APKs on Quest and use them as part of a multitasking setup. This would allow you to stream Apple Music while using Oculus Browser for example, or play Hearthstone while watching a series on Netflix at the same time. There even seems to be support for hand tracking — so you could drag cards into the play area in Hearthstone with no controllers. Additionally, offline downloads for these apps — downloading movies in Netflix or music in Apple Music — worked as expected, and allows you to access the content while disconnected from Wi-Fi.
A few months ago, it seemed like Quest might be getting official Android app support. We later learned that Facebook employees are already able to use some Android apps on Quest. It seems highly likely that multitasking support is a stepping stone toward integrating Android apps more directly, as part of the wider Infinite Office feature set.
Multitasking should now be gradually rolling out to Quest users on v30 and above. If you have the feature, let us know what you think in the comments.