Google has decided to stop giving free Cardboard headsets to users and instead will pay a small fee to download a third-party app that will stream the headset.
The move comes amid a push to make Google Cardboards a more attractive purchase option, especially for young people and the elderly.
The company has said the device’s high-quality camera and other features make it attractive for children and the disabled.
But it has been a big hit among the tech crowd, where people who can’t afford the pricey headsets are gravitating to Google’s alternative.
The decision to charge a $1 to download the free app could come as a surprise to many, as Google has been touting the headset’s ease of use, which many see as one of the reasons for its popularity.
Google’s Cardboard has been the most popular Google Play-exclusive mobile device in the United States, with more than 3.5 million downloads.
Cardboard is also available for iPhone and iPad users.
But the company says the software has a growing number of flaws, including the fact that it doesn’t always work properly with other apps and does not support third-parties.
Google has been giving away free headsets to its customers since April 2016, when it launched a “free to play” version of its Chrome browser.
But that program expired in February, with Google announcing that it was dropping support for the headset due to a software update.