Apple has announced that its upcoming mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, will be able to run iPhone and iPad apps by default. This means that developers will not have to do any extra work to make their existing apps compatible with the new device.
The company said that it will release a developer beta version of visionOS, the operating system for the Vision Pro, this fall. The beta will include the visionOS App Store, which will feature apps and games built specifically for the headset, as well as iPhone and iPad apps that can run on visionOS without any modifications.
“By default, your iPad and/or iPhone apps will be published automatically on the App Store on Apple Vision Pro,” Apple wrote on its developer site. “Most frameworks available in iPadOS and iOS are also included in visionOS, which means nearly all iPad and iPhone apps can run on visionOS, unmodified.”
Apple also said that developers can use the visionOS software development kit (SDK) to optimize their apps for the Vision Pro, adding 3D elements and hand gesture support to make them feel more natural on the device.
Apple Vision Pro expected to launch early next year
Apple has not revealed the exact launch date or price of the Vision Pro, but it is expected to be available in early 2024. The device is rumored to have a sleek design, high-resolution displays, advanced sensors, and spatial audio. It will also support wireless connectivity with other Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
Apple has been sending out developer kits of the Vision Pro since July, allowing developers to test their apps on the headset. The company has also been hosting in-person developer labs in various locations around the world, such as Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.
The Vision Pro is seen as Apple’s entry into the emerging market of mixed reality, which combines elements of virtual reality and augmented reality. The device will compete with other products such as Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2, Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, and Samsung’s Odyssey.
iPhone and iPad apps to enhance the Vision Pro experience
By allowing iPhone and iPad apps to run on the Vision Pro by default, Apple is aiming to provide a rich and diverse app ecosystem for its users. The company said that iPhone and iPad apps will appear alongside visionOS apps in the new App Store, giving users more choices and convenience.
Some of the possible use cases for iPhone and iPad apps on the Vision Pro include:
- Watching videos and streaming services on a large virtual screen
- Playing games with immersive graphics and sound
- Browsing the web and social media with a 3D interface
- Reading books and magazines with realistic page-turning effects
- Learning new skills and languages with interactive lessons
- Shopping online with 3D models of products
- Working remotely with productivity tools and collaboration features
Apple said that it will provide more details and guidance for developers on how to optimize their apps for the Vision Pro in the coming months.