Icon of program: Cardboard

Cardboard for Android

By GoogleFreeUser Rating

Key Details of Cardboard

  • Put virtual reality on your smartphone.
  • Last updated on 2/21/2024
  • There have been 1 updates
  • Virus scan status:

    Clean (it's extremely likely that this software program is clean)

Enlarged image for Cardboard

Editors' Review

Download.com staff

Cardboard is Google's virtual reality kit, combining a 3D app with an inexpensive viewer so you can experience immersive virtual reality on your phone.


Easy to set up and use: The hardware and software kit (which required Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, and later) lets you use your Android phone to experience virtual reality. Launch the Cardboard app and follow the directions for pairing your phone with your Cardboard viewer. Fit your phone into the viewer and peer through the viewer's lenses. Press a button to select content, swivel your head to move around in a scene, and tilt the device to return to the home screen.

Immersive experience: Although Cardboard has a lo-fi vibe (it feels more like a View-Master than an Oculus Rift), the experience is inviting.

VR content: The Google Cardboard app offers a handful of VR demos, including a fly-through of Chicago; a brief, narrated tour of Versailles; and 360-degree views of wood sculptures. But third-party apps on the Google Play Store offer a broader selection, highlighting what you can do with 3D. For example, The New York Times through its NYT VR app presents stories in a 3D environment. And YouTube has a broad collection of VR videos, from exploring a reef to naming a cat.


Strain on resources: Virtual reality has a cost. Battery life takes a hit while driving VR apps, and phones can overheat, strapped in the Cardboard viewer.

Image quality: While navigating through the 3D scenes is smooth, image quality can vary from app to app.

Bottom Line

Google's Cardboard 3D app and viewer are an inexpensive and engaging way to jump into 3D scenes. While Cardboard may lack the horsepower of more expense setups such as Oculus Rift, its appeal comes from only needing to hold a small cardboard box to your head to enter a virtual world.

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Full Specifications

Get a taste of whats possible in VR with the brand new Arctic Journey demo: fly alongside Arctic terns, plant a field of flowers, relax under a sky full of stars and more.
April 12, 2017
Latest update
February 21, 2024
Operating System
Android 13.0
Total Downloads
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Developer's Description

Put virtual reality on your smartphone.
Cardboard puts virtual reality on your smartphone. The Cardboard app helps you launch your favorite VR experiences, discover new apps, and set up a viewer. Earth: Fly where your fancy takes you on Google Earth. Tour Guide: Visit Versailles with a local guide. My Videos: Watch your videos on a massive screen. Exhibit: Examine cultural artifacts from every angle. Photo Sphere: Look around the photo spheres you've captured.