Oculus updates Gear VR app after severe battery drain issues


NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT - SEPTEMBER 11:  Festival goers wear Gear VR headsets to watch Biffy Clyros immersive music video of the new track Flammable in the Samsung Hypercube on Day 4 of Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park on September 11, 2016 in Newport, Isle of Wight.  (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT – SEPTEMBER 11: Festival goers wear Gear VR headsets to watch Biffy Clyros immersive music video of the new track Flammable in the Samsung Hypercube on Day 4 of Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park on September 11, 2016 in Newport, Isle of Wight. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Image: WireImage

Samsung’s Gear VR headset is one of the most accessible ways to experience virtual reality — but not when it kills your phone’s battery. 

Oculus issued an app update Friday afternoon after Gear VR users complained about battery issues. The users reported that a previous version of the Oculus app — which powers Gear VR — drained their phone’s battery in a matter of minutes. 

“Even on a charger was losing 1% batt every 30 seconds,” user Joshawa7 wrote an Oculus forum. 

Mashable reached out to Oculus for comment but did not immediately hear back. The company told Gizmodo that you do not need to uninstall the app to stop the battery problem. Their team has reportedly issued a fix that prompts people to update the Oculus app when they open it. If you don’t see a prompt, your phone likely updated automatically. 

The news comes during a scandal-filled month for both Samsung and Oculus. 

The news comes during a scandal-filled month for both Samsung and Oculus. 

Samsung was forced to recall its Galaxy Note7 after dozens of reports emerged showing that the phone’s battery can overheat and explode. Samsung issued replacement phones, but some of them are reportedly experiencing problems related to overheating batteries.

On Wednesday, U.S. regulators warned that some Samsung washing machines are also prone to exploding. 

Oculus has had its own troubles. The company’s co-founder Palmer Luckey was secretly funding a pro-Trump political organization, according to a report from The Daily Beast. That group has been linked to hateful memes shared online. 

In response, a number of virtual reality developers said they would stop supporting the Oculus Rift platform until Luckey stepped down. He has since issued an apology

The only good news this month for either company is that exploding batteries haven’t turned Galaxy Note7 owners into Apple fans just yet. According to Samsung, about 90 percent of Note7 users haven’t jumped ship to the iPhone. 



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