The Oculus Quest 2 is a virtual reality headset created by Facebook Technologies. Released in October 2020, these devices differ from other VR systems in their ability to operate independently without connecting to a PC or external console.
The system is based on Android 10 and incorporates its own standalone hardware. Although it only offers the option to download apps from the official Oculus store, it is possible to sideload APK files as an Android smartphone. This includes the possibility of installing the native Uptodown App Store app on Oculus Quest 2, which will give you access to all the marketplace features from this device and install VR-compatible apps.
1. How to activate a developer account on Oculus Quest 2
Any Oculus Quest 2 owner with a user account can activate the developer options for free. Among other advantages, doing so will give you access to advanced device configuration options, and most importantly, the ability to install apps from outside the Oculus Store. Here are the steps to follow:
- Access the Oculus Developer portal and log in with your Oculus user account.
- Enter a name for your organization (you can put any name you want, it’s irrelevant).
- Read the terms and conditions, check the I understand checkbox and click the Submit button.
- Read the confidentiality agreement and click the Submit button.
If you haven’t already done so (which is quite probable), the next step will be to validate your account. There are two options for this:
- SMS verification
- Adding a payment method to your account
2. Turn on developer mode in Oculus Quest 2
Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll have to enable the developer mode from the device itself. To do this, the most convenient option is to use the official Oculus app for Android that you will have previously associated with your VR glasses.
- From the Oculus mobile app, go to the Devices > Developer Mode section and turn on the switch that appears.
- Restart the VR headset.
- To check that the process has been completed correctly, a new submenu called Developer should appear in the Oculus in Settings > System.
3. Use ADB to send Uptodown from PC via USB
This step is necessary in order to be able to install the official Uptodown app on the Oculus. The so-called “Android Debug Bridge” is a tool that allows any Android device to communicate with a PC via a USB cable to make internal changes to its configuration or installed elements. Any cable with a USB-C connector will work for this.
- Download the ADB drivers for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
- Unzip the compressed file contents in a folder, preferably in the root of the main drive of your PC (for example, in Windows, C:\ADB).
- Download the APK of the latest version of Uptodown App Store for Android and copy and paste the file in the same folder where you saved the ADB drivers.
- With the Oculus turned on, connect the USB cable from the headset to the PC.
- In the Oculus interface, accept the two pop-up windows that will appear referring to ADB debugging and permissions to send files between both devices.
- Now, from the PC, access the command console to run this line that will install the Uptodown app on the Oculus headset. On Windows, just go to CMD (Win + R > cmd), enter the folder where you installed the ADB drivers and the APK, and run the following:
adb.exe install <app name>.apk
Here, <app name> is the name of the APK, which will vary according to the version of the APK (for example, uptodown-app-store-4-12.apk). Note: In Windows, it’s also possible to install without accessing the CMD by opening the run dialog box (Win + R) and putting the command preceded by the path where all the required files are located directly in that field (for example, C:\Quest>adb.exe install uptodown-app-store-4-15.apk).
4. Open Uptodown App Store from the VR headset
The app will be installed and available in the Oculus Quest interface if all goes well. To open it, follow the steps below:
- Go to the app section, and in the drop-down menu at the top right, select the Unknown Sources option.
- Select the Uptodown app.
- The first time you open the app, you’ll be asked if you want to enable the installation of apps from unknown sources (if you haven’t already enabled it before). You’ll also need to accept and enable write permission on the device in order to be able to install apps.
- And that’s it! You now have the Uptodown App Store on your Oculus Quest 2 and access to the full app catalog. But remember, all apps may not be compatible with your device.