Horizon Workrooms Gets Streamlined Interface & Improved Personal Office But Reduced Features

Meta’s Horizon Workrooms app just got a major update, and it’s a mixed bag.

If you’re unaware, Workrooms is Meta’s collaborative productivity app for Quest headsets. It lets you view your PC monitor inside VR and share your screen with teammates as Meta Avatars in a virtual meeting room. People who don’t own a Quest can join via webcam through a web interface or paid Zoom plans.

The app also has a solo Personal Office which gives you free extra monitors, effectively turning your laptop into a triple monitor setup.

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The new update removes the virtual whiteboard in meeting rooms, all meeting room customization, the web-based text chat and file sharing system, and tracked keyboard support.

The whiteboard was a flagship feature of Workrooms. Meta’s Touch Pro controllers, which come with Quest Pro or can be bought separately for Quest 2 and 3, even come with pressure-sensitive stylus tips specifically designed for drawing on Workrooms’ whiteboard.

There is now only one style of meeting room, with a U-shaped table. You can no longer customize either the virtual environment nor the table layout, and the breakout groups feature that essentially enabled conferences and multi-conversation meetups is gone.

The removal of tracked keyboard support means you’ll no longer be able to see a virtual version of certain keyboards inside VR, but Workrooms does let you toggle on a passthrough cutout of your desk to see your keyboard directly instead.

The whiteboard and breakout groups features have both been removed.

In return, the update improves the Personal Office, streamlines the interface, and makes it possible to set up transient meetings.

You can now resize and adjust the height and distance of the floating monitors in your Personal Office, and the app automatically launches into it. That means if you pin Workrooms to your Quest’s system menu bar you can have your PC monitor floating in front of you in just one click and around 10-15 seconds of loading time. With a few more clicks and seconds, you can spawn those virtual side monitors.

When it comes to online meetings, you can now create a temporary one without making a permanent team. And you can now invite people with a link instead of always needing to add their email address. You still have to set up meetings via the web interface however, and while it’s been streamlined to be easier to use that requirement feels like a big miss. Why can’t we just invite people directly from our Quest followers list?

Screensharing in meetings now creates a larger and closer screen than before, making it much easier for others to see what you’re showing them.

Finally, the app’s interface has been simplified to be faster and easier to use, and the design has been updated to match the current Quest system design language. Beforehand it was styled similarly to the old Quest system interface before its late 2022 refresh.

Concept image of Workrooms’ new Personal Office.

Workrooms’ friction was a major complaint in mainstream reviews of Quest Pro, and Meta seems to be gearing up to improve its productivity and collaboration software well in time for the next headset aimed at professionals. Workrooms also seems primed to eventually be the first app to get support for Codec Avatars, whenever they finally ship.

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