Pico Is Also Opening Up Its Store & Getting Rid Of Its App Lab Equivalent

Pico announced it will open up its store and get rid of Pico Lab.

It comes just over two months after Meta announced the same, that it will merge App Lab into the main store in two steps, firstly by making App Lab apps searchable and then getting rid of the distinction altogether. The first step has already happened.

Meta Is Getting Rid Of App Lab And Opening Up The Store
Meta says it will get rid of Quest’s unlisted App Lab and instead make the store much more open.

ByteDance-owned Pico says “soon” developers will be able to upload any apps to its store “as long as they pass our platform tests and comply with local regulations”, claiming that all apps will have “equal opportunities”.

“Every app in our store will have the chance to be recommended and featured in user searches, and participate in smart distribution. Outstanding apps will have opportunities for editorial picks.”

Apps currently on Pico Lab, its equivalent of Quest’s App Lab, will instead have an ‘Early Access’ label but otherwise live on the same open store.

Pico will also now allow individual developers to sell paid apps. Previously they needed to have a registered business.

The opening up of XR app stores across platforms will come as a major relief for independent developers currently struggling to get reach for their apps, and help Pico bring in more content at no cost to ByteDance, after last year it laid off most of its content team, cancelled its Beat Saber competitor, and handed off what should have been its first major exclusive, Just Dance VR, to Meta. However, as with Meta’s move, Pico Store opening up could also harm discoverability of existing apps as a wave of new entries arrive to compete.