How to Set Up Google Cardboard on an iPhone

Want to see what this VR thing is about, but don’t want to plop down a bunch of cash? Google Cardboard is an insanely cheap way to try it out. And, despite being a Google product, it works on iOS as well as Android. Google is fair, y’all.

Setting Cardboard up on iOS is a lot like setting it up on Android, albeit with a few minor differences. Before you do anything, though, you’ll need a couple of things: a Cardboard Viewer and the Cardboard app. Easy enough, right?

One of the coolest things about Cardboard is that it was specifically designed to be cheap, open, and easy. This means any manufacturer can take the idea and build their own Cardboard unit—many of which aren’t even made of Cardboard. They can also be as basic as you want—you can grab one for as little as $5. If you’re looking for something a little more robust, however, they go all the way up to $70. You can look through the various options (and order one) from Google’s Get Cardboard page. There are even instructions to make your own!

Alright, now that you have your Cardboard unit and the app installed, let’s do this thing.

Go ahead and fire up the Cardboard app on your phone. If you skipped the part where you should’ve bought a Cardboard viewer, you can also buy one directly from the app using the “Get One” link at the bottom. Otherwise, tap that little orange circle with an arrow in it to get started.

Grant the app permission to use your camera which is required so it can scan the QR found on your particular model of viewer.

Find the aforementioned QR and scan it. It should automatically recognize your viewer and then prompt you to put the phone in.


The tutorial will automatically start and guide you through using Cardboard, which is ridiculously simple. Just follow the instructions.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Once you’re finished with the walkthrough, it’ll show you how to go back to the previous menu/screen, then throw you into the main menu.

From here, you can get more apps, go through the tutorial again, and more. Have fun with it!

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.