Today’s the day that Apple’s Vision Pro – the company’s first foray into the world of AR and VR – lands with early adopters who were to punt $3,499 into the void in the hope of landing Apple’s next big thing.
The headset has attracted broadly favourable reviews with many of tech’s YouTube naysayers being reluctantly dragged along by the hype and ending up generally blown away by its capabilities and leaps and bounds over less-equipped (but far more affordable) forebears.
Soft target Vanity Fair for example concluded that the headset “will change everything“, while The Verge’s covertly Apple-resistant Nilay Patel bemoaned its inability to see his gestures through a table and that it messed up his quiff.
Most notably of course is the fact that it’s another device that’s based on Apple’s iOS and as such any and every dev’s existing iOS game or app is welcome on board from day one, and are playable in an outrageous window that appears to float in your living room.
More interesting of course are those that have put in the time and effort since the hardware and dev kit’s unveiling back in June of last year. The headset comes laden with first party versions of Facetime (using spooky 3D artificial human personas to give you a headset-free likeness to viewers) and Safari (allowing you to pin unlimited webpages on walls around your house), but it’s the third-party apps that are going to provide the real killer apps beyond Apple’s too-close-to-see-it opening gambits.
And while Jon Favreau and Prehistoric Planet’s Encounter Dinosaurs – a 3D encounter with a ‘live’ T Rex – and Algoriddim’s Djay – with decks and a mixer you can reach out to scratch and fade – are great, we’re promised a lot more is on the way.
In fact Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took to X (formerly Twitter) to claim that there are already over 600 apps for Apple Vision Pro, each using features unique to the device.
“Users will be able to explore more than 1 million apps, including 600 apps made specifically for Vision Pro! The creativity of developers is amazing, and this is just the beginning. Endless possibilities await!” he promised.
When Apple Vision Pro launches tomorrow, users will be able to explore more than 1 million apps, including 600 apps made specifically for Vision Pro! The creativity of developers is amazing, and this is just the beginning. Endless possibilities await! https://t.co/z5nIByMEd6
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 1, 2024
Early adopters to the new tech, with 3D and touch features include Lego Builder’s Journey, Super Fruit Ninja, What the Golf?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Bloons TD 6+, stitch., Patterned, Illustrated, and Wylde Flowers and of course the rest of Apple’s 250+ games on Apple Arcade work just great right out of the box with your choice of additional bluetooth controller.
“Apple Vision Pro is unlocking the imaginations of our worldwide developer community, and we’re inspired by the range of spatial experiences they’ve created for this exciting new platform,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, in a statement.
Your move, devs
“With more than 600 new spatial experiences to explore in the all-new App Store, alongside more than one million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, users can discover a wide array of apps that expand the boundaries of what’s possible. These incredible apps will change how we experience entertainment, music, and games; spark our imaginations with new ways to learn and explore; unlock productivity like never before; and so much more. Developers are already capturing the promise of spatial computing, and we can’t wait to see what they create next.”
As to whether the makers of these 600 apps will be seeing any big, ‘first mover’ earnings rolling in considering the limited 200,000 global units that are out there is debatable. But you can bet that Apple will be working very hard to put more units (and doubtless countless more powerful and affordable annual revisions) into the hands (and onto the faces) of as many new customers as it can.