Apple spills ‘realityOS’ again as new AR/VR headset inches closer


Apple realityOS leak
Apple continues to lay the groundwork for its first mixed reality device.
Image: Steve Troughton-Smith

Another reference to Apple’s unreleased “realityOS” operating system leaked Wednesday in new open source code. It suggests the company’s highly anticipated mixed-reality headset is inching closer to its public debut.

The headset could appear this year — perhaps at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference — as many reports previously suggested. However, thanks to technical difficulties Apple recently encountered, we might have to wait until 2023.

Apple’s new realityOS leaks again

Much like tvOS and watchOS, realityOS is expected to be a version of iOS built specifically for Apple’s mixed-reality hardware. Although the foundations will be similar, realityOS will have its own interface tailored to headsets.

It also will have its own App Store, which will allow third-party developers to distribute their own augmented and virtual reality applications, according to a recent code leak. There will also be a realityOS simulator.

Apple’s first headset is on the way

The new code leak “bodes well for a product/platform announcement perhaps as soon as this year,” said developer Steve Troughton-Smith. However, Troughton-Smith also points out that realityOS has been leaking since iOS 13.

Regardless of the headset’s release date, these leaks offer a sure sign that Apple continues to lay the groundwork for the device’s launch.

Whether you’ll actually want one is a different story. Cupertino’s first mixed-reality device is expected to be a little bulkier than the company would like — and wildly expensive. Some reports suggest it could cost as much as $3,000.

However, Apple undoubtedly plans to continually refine the design — to the point where the headset will look like a regular pair of glasses in the future. And the company likely will bring down the price eventually.


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