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iPhone limitations

iPhones do not support two important features for Virtual Tours: fullscreen mode and Virtual Reality. That's the bad news.

The good news is that Kuula Team came up with creative ways to work around those limitations. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Fullscreen mode

Web browsers on the iPhone do not support the Fullscreen API. This means that the Kuula player can't open in true fullscreen mode, without any browser user interface around it. The best it can do is to open the tour in full-window mode.

To remove the browser elements from the screen, you need to use system settings. To see how, please follow the instructions below, under Removing browser UI.

Fullscreen in embeds & whitelisting

When you are embedding a Kuula tour on your webpage, it is typically presented inside a box that is smaller that the full browser window area. In this case, the Kuula player needs some additional workarounds to stretch to full-window mode.

When you use the Embed HTML code, pressing fullscreen opens the tour in a new browser tab. While this works fine, Kuula PRO users will notice that it interferes with the whitelisting feature. The new tab shows the Kuula domain name:

Solution 1: JS Embed instead of HTML Embed

This option has a built-in workaround for this problem, so it is recommended to use it whenever possible.

Solution 2: Kuula Business with custom domain

If you can't use Embed JS but you are a Kuula BUSINESS user, the new tab will open showing your custom domain instead.

Removing browser UI

Even in full-window mode, you will still see the browser user interface, such as the address bar or the toolbar at the bottom.

There are 2 different methods how you can hide this using different settings:

The tips below only apply on iOS version 15 or higher.

1. Settings » Safari » Landscape Tab Bar

This setting has the effect to hide the UI in landscape mode, while it will still show up in portrait mode. It is a global setting that has to be set only once.

To disable the tab bar, please navigate to the Settings App and open Safari settings from the list. On the next screenm scroll down and disable the toggle next to the option called "Landscape Tab Bar" as shown above (1).

2. Safari » Hide Toolbar

This solution will not hide the address bar completely, but it makes is very small - enough to provide good VR experience. It only applies to the current browsing session, so it needs to be activated each time you want to enter VR mode. It works both in portrait and landscape mode.

In order to use it, please tap te aA button on the left side of the address bar and choose "Hide Toolbar" from the menu, as shown above (2).

Note on other browsers on iOS

Other browsers available for iOS, such as Firefox or Chrome, lack the feature to hide the toolbar in landscape mode. Kuula will generally work fine on those browsers, but for optimal experience, especially in VR, please use Safari.

Kuula doesn't offer support for browsers other than Safari on iOS. If you encounter an issue, please switch to Safari first and only report the issue if it persists on Safari.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Since iPhones do not support native VR (aka WebXR), Kuula uses a software fallback system to render the stereo image that you can view inside cardboard VR headsets. This system works ok for the most part, except that the performance is not as good as with native VR available on Android phones and Oculus headsets.

The other limtation is that VR will not automatically go into fullscreen mode. Your view may be obstructed by the browser UI. Please see the section on Removing browser UI above for how to deal with this.

Motion senors (Gyroscope)

Virtual Reality (VR) works on mobile phones thanks to the data received from the gyroscope or accelerometer. This data provides information about the spatial orientation of the device and is used to track the head movement of the user. By combining a stereo fullscreen rendering of the panoramic image with the orientation data, Kuula simulates the VR effect.

Apple iPhones require visitors to explicitely allow a website to access motion and orientation data. Since iOS version 13, the browser will ask you to allow motion access for the Kuula website during the visit.

You can trigger that dialog by pressing the compass icon or entering VR mode, as show on the screenshot above. Similar icons will be present in direct links & embedded players in the top right corner of the screen, as show above. When the system dialog shows up, you need to select Allow

If you accidentally tap Cancel or get a notification saying the the access was denied, go to Settings > Safari and select Clear History and Website Data. After that, open the page and try again.