Update: New & Easier Method
Things have changed since I made this article months ago. There is now a much easier method that is blowing up on Reddit, thanks to creator of YouTopiaVR. It’s called Cardboard Enabler and lets you do all of this in a much easier way.
First, it’s time to give credit to this amazing Reddit user enzo1982, who made this post about an app that let’s you use Google Cardboard on Gear VR. This is a Non-Root solution, and takes about 1 minute to do.
It’s Time to Throw Away your Google Cardboard
If you have a Gear VR, there is now no reason at all to own a Google Cardboard. By using the pro $1.50 version of Package Disabler, available on Google Play Store, you can start up any Google Cardboard App and then plug your phone into your Gear VR as you usually would. That’s right, plug it into that USB connector and Oculus will no longer start up, as long as you have the app running. I’ve tried a few apps and games out already. The best part is, the touchpad and back button on the Gear VR are still completely functional within the apps. That means you will be able to play all those games on Google Cardboard requiring the magnet trigger in a much easier way.
Here’s What You Need To Do
1.) Download Package Disabler on the Google Play Store. I recommend getting the $1.50 pro version to support the developers but the free version works fine.
2.) Open Package Disabler.
3.) Scroll down and check the box for “Gear VR Service”
4.) Now you are good to go! Open any Google Cardboard app. Watch any YouTube360 video. Play any Google Cardboard game.
Again, please be sure to head over to Reddit and thank user enzo1982 for discovering this. Enzo1982, you have made my day.