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If you own a recent Samsung Galaxy handset (S6, S6 Edge, S7, or S7 Edge Galaxy S7 Edge Review and Giveaway Galaxy S7 Edge Review and Giveaway Samsung's back again with some new smartphones: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It's still a premium device with uniquely curved edges, but should you consider upgrading? Read More ) then you should uninstall the Oculus apps at your earliest convenience. Why? Because they’re likely to be draining your battery, and possibly causing your phone to overheat.

Oculus updated its apps yesterday (September 29). Unfortunately this update led to some Samsung Galaxy owners’ handsets to burn through their batteries. Oculus powers Gear VR, Samsung’s virtual reality headset Samsung and Oculus Announce "Gear VR" Mobile VR Platform Samsung and Oculus Announce "Gear VR" Mobile VR Platform Samsung executives and Oculus CTO John Carmack got up on stage to finally talk about a secretive project they've been toiling away at for the last year called "Gear VR." Read More , which is why this is affecting Samsung phones in particular.

One owner started a Reddit thread detailing his experience, with his phone losing 70 percent of its charge in just three hours. There’s also a thread on the Oculus forums detailing similar issues. With a staff member present in the thread, Oculus is at least aware of the issue.

Uninstall the Apps for a Quick Fix

The best advice currently being offered is to, “uninstall Oculus Home first, and then Oculus Rooms (in that order) and then re-dock your phone. After you do that, it should download the latest working update.” However, some users are reporting this method isn’t working for them.

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Our suggestion is to uninstall all of the Oculus apps for the time being just to be sure. Once Oculus issues an official update, you can then reinstall the apps without worrying about the consequences. Unfortunately, this means giving up on Gear VR for the weekend, but surely that’s preferable to juggling your phone like a hot brick.

Samsung is having a truly torrid time of it at the moment. The Galaxy Note 7 was recalled Samsung Recalls the Galaxy Note 7, Google Kills Project Ara... [Tech News Digest] Samsung Recalls the Galaxy Note 7, Google Kills Project Ara... [Tech News Digest] Samsung recalls the Galaxy Note 7 over faulty batteries, Google shelves Project Ara, Apple is removing dysfunctional apps from iTunes, Instagram adds pinch-to-zoom, and why YouTubers are freaking out right now. Read More thanks to exploding batteries. And then Samsung washing machines started tearing themselves apart Beware: Samsung Washing Machines Are Exploding Now Too Beware: Samsung Washing Machines Are Exploding Now Too Samsung is having a bad September. The month began with reports of the Galaxy Note 7 exploding, and it's ending with reports of Samsung washing machines exploding. Ouch! Read More . However, Samsung isn’t to blame for this particular issue, with Oculus being solely responsible. If that’s any consolation.

Do you own a Samsung phone? Has your battery suddenly started draining more quickly as a result of this Oculus update? Has uninstalling the Oculus apps fixed the issue? Please recount your experiences in the comments below.

Image Credit: TechStage via Flickr

  1. angela mckearney
    November 25, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I bought a Samsung galaxy s7 a few months ago and it has been brilliant. Then I did an update and over the last few days my phone has been too hot to touch, very slow and battery draining from 95% to 32 % in the space of 3 hours. I am furious about this. I have tried uninstalling the Gear VR service app (which I didn't want in the first place) but it won't let me. I have forced stop and turned off all active notifications. Please help! I am not technically minded at all so to fix it needs to be explained step by step if poss. Thank you

  2. Steve Gossett
    October 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I absolutely experienced this several days ago. Over the course of the weekend my phone was warm to the touch and its never been like that before. Being a QA person I naturally thought there is a process running that is a bit resource intensive that was causing the issue so I used an app to kill running processes but the issue continued. I had recalled two close updates from Oculus so decided to go to the app manager to kill it. After I did that the phone has not exhibited the same behavior.

    I have to say that I feel app QA/QC processes these days are crap. Seems more like apps and app updates are released with the intent of the general user-base being the guinea pigs to report issues before they are found and fixed. Some are just so rediculous that you know someone is asleep during the dev process. On the other hand, a lot of apps are one developer creations with no QA/QC process at all. In any regard, the software crowd in my opinion are guinea pigs.

  3. Alanis
    October 6, 2016 at 3:27 am

    I have a Gakaxy S5, don't have the VR Gear, but for some reason my battery is "bloated", I though it was the screen because on one side it looks like it's coming off, so I opened the phone and noticed the battery was sort of pushing the screen up, so I ordered a new battery, haven't received it yet, but this has never happenned before, I don't even know how that could happen. the phone works fine, it doesn't overheat unless is doing a complete software upgrade, the battery doesn't last as long, but otherwise, is ok.

  4. dicky109
    October 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I hav e a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7. Unless I'm missing something, there are no Oculus Apps on it. There is a "Gear VR Service", which I disabled and Force Stopped when I got the phone. Cannot be uninstalled.

  5. B.south
    October 3, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Newsflash, Samsung aint alone. Not sure why Iphone and those google vr apps has never been mentiined. So i was late to the party and just have a simple google cardboard but every time i use it my Iphone 5S will be dead in two hours and about 150 degrees. Never thought much about it till i read this artilce. I wonder if thats a problem? Hmmmmm...

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

      VR apps will drain your battery, regardless of smartphone. But this update was burning through battery life even when the apps were sitting there unused! Now, that's a problem.

  6. Chad
    September 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Happened to me too ! My previously stalwart phone would be half dead by the time I got to work in the morning and uncomfortably hot.

    However, i just got pushed Oculus update 2.15.19 and that seems to have fixed it.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

      To be fair to Oculus they did push out a fix quite quickly. It still shouldn't have happened in the first place though.

  7. Dean Beckley
    September 30, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Yesterday I woke up as normal...put phone in my shirt pocket and went to work. Within about 20 minutes my pocket was burning up and battery level had dropped from 100% to 80%, within 2 hours I was under 30% and dropping fast. I went into Recovery mode and cleared the cache, stopped as many apps as possible but because Oculus didn't show up as the App causing the power drain (Android OS was top user followed by Android Services), I still had problem. Last night I put phone on wireless charger (after charging back to 100% with cable) and around 4 am, battery was at 18%. So I put back on cable and went to work. Found several reports on Oculus being the issue...uninstalled Oculus and all the apps associated (had some difficulty doing that) plus Gear VR and all apps that I could as I don't use the VR apps anyway. Now phone is back to normal....life is good...

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Geez, these apps were doing a fantastic job of warming people appendages then. I mean, burning through battery life is one thing, but doing so to the point phones were hot to touch is mental.

      If you ever do decide to use Gear VR then reinstalling the apps should update them, and you shouldn't have the same problem again. Unless Oculus messes up again.

  8. Galaxybeing
    September 30, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    My battery was completely drained by 1pm yesterday, now I know why! But I used my Gear VR last night and killed all the apps from memory before putting it in the wireless charger. I have a full charge this morning and it's not hot at all. I don't think you need to uninstall. Just "close all" after you're done using it. But if it makes you feel better to delete it, go ahead.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:50 am

      We advised people to uninstall just to be on the safe side. But Oculus has now updated the app responsible, so perhaps yours updated itself manually?

  9. Ted W
    September 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Yes, I had the overheating and fast battery drain. I did NOT have Oculus rooms reinstalling, but I WAS curious what it was, when lookout proclaimed it SAFE. So I googled it and discovered The problem. During last night I saw that an update had been released. I opened my Oculus app and it demanded the update. So I did it. After the update phone was still hot and draining fast. I went to bed.
    This morning phone was the same, but another update of rooms occured. And shortly after, my touch screen became unresponsive. The "open apps" and "back" buttons would light up if I touched the screen, and my wallpaper config would open if I double tapped. But apps would not open, I could not even power off or restart. I thought I would have to wait for a complete battery drain, which, thanks to Oculus rooms, would only be a couple of hours.
    I tried putting the phone into VR GEAR, hoping it might reset my ability to use the phone, and while the GEAR worked normally (until it overheated in 2 minutes) my touch screen would not work still.
    I had tried to do a soft reset earlier, but, since the phone was ON, it would not bring up the reset menu.
    I put the phone back into the case, and by sheer luck, I put it in upside down. And put it into my pocket and went to work.
    Next time I checked my phone it was in the reset menu (I can only guess because all the
    Buttons were pressed by the case)
    I was able to reboot my phone and it is working now.
    Too soon to know about the battery life. I'm still charging. It is warm. But not as hot as before

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:51 am

      The Oculus apps should now have updated themselves and be working fine. If not then you'll have to update them manually to fix the issue.

  10. Mike Thomas
    September 30, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I own a note 5, i use wireless charging to charge through the night. Usually have 100% capacity available when i wake up. Woke up to 34% battery and it lost 25% battery in an hour after removing from the dock. Thanks for the heads up. U installing the apps now. Samsung needs to get it together, last 3 phones have been Samsungoing, but I am considering another manufacturer for my next phone.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 4, 2016 at 11:52 am

      To be fair to Samsung Oculus was responsible for this particular issue. But Samsung do seem to have upset the gods, because it's wall-to-wall bad PR at the moment.

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