Apple rebrands its mixed-reality operating system as 'xrOS' | Cult of Mac

Apple rebrands its mixed-reality operating system as ‘xrOS’

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Apple's AR/VR headset is inching closer to release.
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple reportedly changed the name of the operating system that will power its upcoming mixed-reality headset. Previously referred to as “realityOS,” Apple now calls the operating system “xrOS.”

This internal change is another sign of Apple ramping up work on the headset ahead of its official launch.

Apple renames its headset OS internally

A Bloomberg report details that the “XR” in the new name stands for “extended reality” and includes both augmented and virtual reality. While unclear, Apple may also end up using “xrOS” as the public name for the OS.

“xrOS” reportedly will feature a mixed-reality version of Apple’s Messages and Maps apps. The company also will provide developers with an SDK to create apps and games for the headset, which they can then sell to consumers through a dedicated App Store for the platform.

Coincidentally, a team of about 300 engineers at Meta was also working on a mixed-reality operating system with the same “xrOS” name. However, the company never got around to trademarking the name. On the other hand, Deep Dive LLC — seemingly an Apple shell company — already trademarked xrOS in several countries.

Despite being powered by a powerful M2 chip, Apple’s first VR headset is not expected to focus on gaming.

Apple’s AR/VR headset is around the corner

Rumors indicate Apple could showcase its AR/VR headset in early 2023. The device would then go on sale a few months later. The headset is expected to cost upward of $2,000, due to which shipments for 2023 are not expected to exceed 1.5 million units.

Apple supposedly already showcased the headset to its board. CEO Tim Cook also teased the AR/VR headset during an interview with Chinese state-affiliated media on June 14, 2022. Apple could launch its second-gen headset in 2025 with a more affordable price tag, which should help boost shipments.