Take a look at these impressive third-party apps for Vision Pro


Broadcasts running in the Vision Pro simulated living room
Broadcasts, seen here in the Vision Pro Simulator’s living room environment.
Image: Steve Troughton-Smith

The first screenshots and videos of apps being built for Vision Pro show just how easy it is to port iOS apps to Apple’s upcoming augmented reality headset.

Apple just released the visionOS software development kit last Wednesday, and already people are refitting their iPhone apps for Apple’s new mixed-reality platform and sharing the results online.

The apps include Broadcasts, which lets you tune in to internet radio and livestreams — and leave a little Now Playing window anywhere in your virtual space. With cooking app Crouton in visionOS, you can place timers all around your kitchen. And Tasks, a powerful to-do app, works exactly as it does on your Mac and iPhone.

In my opinion, this is what will ultimately make visionOS succeed where similar mixed-reality platforms failed: It builds heavily on the same technologies that underpin iOS. If you can build an iPhone app, you can build a Vision Pro app.

Here’s a gallery of what some popular indie apps look like running on Vision Pro.

Here’s what developers are making for Vision Pro

An important tool at developers’ disposal is the Simulator. While access to the real devices will be limited to select locations, developers can simulate it from a Mac. The real headset won’t launch until at least next year, but with the Xcode Beta, developers run their apps in three simulated 3D rooms (a living room, kitchen and museum) running a pared-down version of the visionOS software.

It’s no substitute for the real thing — you use the mouse cursor instead of the advanced eye tracking and you need to click and drag on a toolbar of buttons to simulate looking and moving around. But that it’s so easy to get a working prototype speaks volumes to the incredible engineering Apple did behind the scenes.

Broadcasts, an internet radio streaming app


Broadcasts is an app that lets you stream radio stations and audio livestreams. It runs on everything — even Apple Watch and Apple TV. It adopts all the modern iOS features, like SharePlay and Live Activities. For those of you out there who are allergic to subscriptions, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s available with a limited free tier and a one-time unlock of $4.99.

Running on Vision Pro, the toolbar with play/pause/artwork/station translates very well into an ornament floating separately from the window. Tapping on it shows the Now Playing screen, which spawns in front of the browse window, leaving it even more transparent.

Click into that thread and scroll up to see some experiments with the MiniPlayer — you can leave it sitting flat on a table next to you or pinned to a fridge. While there’s no official way to build a Mac-style menu bar, he’s also tried creating his own out of SwiftUI buttons.

Crouton, for putting timers all around your kitchen

(tap on the image or hover your mouse over it to play) (link)

Crouton is a recipe library. You can directly import recipes you find online. Scale them up to serve a party or pare down to cook for yourself, and all the units will be automatically converted.

In Vision Pro, the multiple timer feature takes a leap forward into the real world. You can create timers for different steps (baking in the oven, boiling noodles, etc.) and move them to different parts of the kitchen to keep track of them. See how much time is left on your simmering sauce  by glancing at the clock floating above it.

Delta, for kicking back with some classics


Delta by Riley Testut is the best way to play classic video games on your iPhone. It’s not on the App Store — it’s on AltStore, Testut’s open-source alternative. We made a guide for how to set it up with the help of a Mac or PC.

Running in the Museum room, a thematically resonant choice, you can see Super Mario 64, Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World ‘mounted’ on the walls. That’s a museum I’d pay a visit to.

Vision Pro is compatible with Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation and other made-for-iPhone game controllers. Riley says that in his testing, a Switch Pro controller worked flawlessly. Future versions will “let you change which game you’re controlling just by looking,” and automatically pause your other open games, he said to Cult of Mac on Mastodon.

As fun as that looks, whether you’ll be able to run Delta on your Vision Pro is an open question. Apple cracked down on the Mail plugin system that’s a key part of the installation process with macOS Sonoma. While the next version of Delta has been approved for a private TestFlight, it’s not guaranteed to make it through app review, the last part of the process to publishing an app on the App Store.

Tasks, for getting things done on your spatial computer


Tasks is the project manager and to-do list for when Apple’s Reminders app isn’t powerful enough. You mark a task as in progress, under review, or any custom state — not just a binary done/not-done. You can sort tasks in smart lists, tag them, organize them, give them subtasks, put them on a kanban board, it goes on.

This is a great example of how even a complex, dense user interface with a lot of custom elements can translate flawlessly to Vision Pro. It was up and running “within a few minutes,” which is truly remarkable for a brand-new software platform — especially for an app with so much custom UI.

Facades, and other Apple Retail history nerdery


Facades is an app by Michael Steeber, a blogger and developer who specializes in Apple retail history. Facades is like a travel encyclopedia for Apple Stores. You can see which stores have different features like Boardrooms, Green Walls, Plazas — and what those are.

Facades translates very naturally to Vision Pro, as you can see above. But I think what everyone wants to know is whether Steeber’s other passion project, Apple Store Time Machine, is in the works.

Much more to come

A lot of development happens behind closed doors — this is what I could find posted publicly on Mastodon. If it really is so easy to port an app to Vision Pro, it sounds like you have a lot to look forward to on day one… if you can afford one!


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