The scramble to create killer apps for Apple’s AR/VR headset is on


Apple VR/AR headset concept by Amin Jony.
Surprise: the Apple VR/AR headset might be able to run iPad apps right out of the box.
Concept: Amin Jony/

There’ll be a lot more to Apple’s VR/AR headset than new hardware: an unconfirmed report leaks details on Apple’s plans for software. There’ll be games and fitness apps, a VR version of FaceTime and more.

That’s not surprising. What is eye-opening is the assertion that the headset will be able to run third-party iPad applications right out of the box.

Apple VR/AR headset will come packed with apps

Any computer, no matter how cool, is useless without software. And the selection of applications needs to entice shoppers for the product to be a success. That’s going to be especially important with Apple’s VR/AR headset, its initial entry into a product category that currently attracts few buyers.

Apple will bundle an array of apps with its virtual reality/augmented reality device, according to a new report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

“The offerings will include gaming, fitness and collaboration tools,” according to Gurman. There will also be “optimized versions of the Safari web browser and Apple’s services for calendars, contacts, files, home control, mail, maps, messaging, notes, photos and reminders, as well as its music, news, stocks and weather apps.”

An earlier leak talked about the advantages and limitations of the 3D version of FaceTime. And there’ll be VR versions of Fitness+ and Apple Books, reports Bloomberg. Apple TV will be included, and the headset will let users watch sports and movies in VR.

It won’t be all fun and games. Apple’s iWork suite will be allegedly ported to the VR/AR headset for working with documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Or producing music and video.

Applications will be displayed in augmented reality as though they were floating in front of the viewer. Multiple apps can be shown at once.

Can run third-party iPad apps

The headset will run a new operating system supposedly called xrOS, according to a previous leak. Apple is expected to launch the product at WWDC23 in June where third-party developers will get first look at the tools for coding for it.

But headset buyers supposedly won’t have to wait for specially made software. There’ll be a broad selection available already, as the new device will be able to run iPad applications.

“A big part of the effort is adapting iPad apps for the new headset,” said Bloomberg. “Users will be able to access millions of existing apps from third-party developers via the new 3D interface.”

That said, some iPad app might have to be tweaked a bit to run in a 3D interface.

Save your pennies for Apple VR/AR headset

Apple’s VR/AR headset is the worst-kept secret in tech. Even CEO Tim Cook couldn’t resist dropping a hint about it in 2022. A long series of leaks have revealed many of the most important details.

Tipsters say it will sport three high-res displays, one of which will be external. It’ll be powered by a chip on par with the Apple M2 for cutting-edge performance. Many types of sensors will detect the wearer’s surroundings and their hands, and even scan their face.

That said, Apple has kept a fairly tight rein on the exact design. No renders of the device have leaked yet, just vague hints.

But expect to pay plenty for it. The price could be as high as $3,000 for what will essentially be a public prototype test.


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