Meta refuses to partner with Google on Android XR

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In a surprising turn of events, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has reportedly refused to partner with Google on the Android XR project. This decision comes as a blow to Google, which was hoping to collaborate with Meta to create a unified platform for upcoming devices.

Android XR is a project by Google that aims to develop a software platform for AR and VR products. The project is still in the works, but Google hopes to turn it into a standard software kit for virtual and augmented reality devices. Similar to what it did with Android in the smartphone market.

As per The Information report, Google suggested Meta in late 2023 to partner in the Android XR project. However, Meta declined the request. Meta’s decision to reject the partnership with Google was a bit surprising as its Quest headsets currently run on an open-source and modified version of Android.

Meta won’t partner with Google on developing Android XR

As the report reads, “Meta executives decided against a partnership.” Meanwhile, Google reportedly notified Meta that it would keep the door open if they changed their mind.

Meta’s executive’s decision might come on the heels of Google’s refusal to allow Quest buyers to access the Play Store. Despite Meta’s numerous requests, Google doesn’t allow the firm to offer Google services and apps on Quest headsets, leaving buyers with a device with no practical app on it.

The move could lead Meta to part ways with Google and invest in building a standalone operating system for its VR and AR headsets. Meta is a pioneer company in developing VR and AR products but still relies on other companies for software. The firm is reportedly in talks with LG for its upcoming Quest Pro 2.

Meta refused Google’s offer due to “restrictive terms”

In a recent post on Threads, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth confirmed Google has pitched the partnership idea to them, adding that Google is causing fragmentation in the ecosystem. Bosworth said Meta would welcome Google if it brings the Play Store to Quest headsets.

“Instead, they want us to agree to restrictive terms that require us to give up our freedom to innovate and build better experiences for people and developers—we’ve seen this play out before, and we think we can do better this time around.” Meta CTO noted.