Apple is launching Vision Pro with more than 600 optimized apps

Macworld

You may have heard that Apple Vision Pro has an app problem. No Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Gmail, Instagram…there are some obvious big gaps. But Apple is seeking to counter the “there’s no apps” argument on the eve of the Vision Pro’s launch with a press release touting 600 apps built specifically for the platform.

The App Store on Apple Vision Pro will contain over 600 spatial computing apps when the headset launches on February 2; that number is a tiny fraction of what is available on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, but is expected to grow over time.

Apple highlighted sports apps like PGA TOUR Vision, apps from MLB and NBA, and Red Bull TV. For traditional streaming, Disney+ and Max got shout-outs. Productivity apps like Box, Numerics, Microsoft 365, and Fantastical were highlighted, too. For video meetings, there’s Zoom, Teams, and WebEx.

Games are, of course, expected to be very popular. It’s the most popular mobile category and the most popular activity on current VR headsets. Apple mentioned that you can pair the PlayStation DualSense and the Xbox Wireless Controller to play controller-based games in a window, but there’s no app from Xbox or Playstation to stream their game libraries and no way to hook up a console’s HDMI output to the Vision Pro. Instead, the controllers can be used to play compatible Apple Arcade games (over 250) in a window. There will be a number of new spatial games like Super Fruit Ninja, Game Room, WHAT THE GOLF?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Bloons TD 6+, stitch., Patterned, Illustrated, and Wylde Flowers.

Creative apps like djay will let you mix using realistic 3D turntables, Sky Guide and Night Sky put the sky around you with interactive elements, and J.Crew Virtual Closet lets you see garments in 3D on a mannequin, in 3D environments.

The press release mixes mentions of new spatial computing apps with namedropping “compatible” apps, which are just the iPhone or iPad versions. Prior to launch, developers were able to update their apps to “opt out” of allowing their iPad apps to run on Vision Pro. These are unaltered apps that run in a floating window and are interacted with just as you would on an iPad or iPhone—it’s good to see over a million of them will be available, but you don’t spend $4,000 on a spatial computer to run unaltered iPad apps, right?

While 600 apps is not a very big number, not for a much-ballyhooed new Apple platform, it’s only the beginning. Less important than any exact number of apps is which apps are available, and how they work. If the apps you use the most often, or which would take advantage of the platform the best, have good optimized Vision Pro versions then it doesn’t matter if there are one thousand or one million. On the other hand, a huge app library doesn’t mean anything if your go-to apps aren’t part of it. The apps released and updated within the coming weeks and months will be a better measure of the health of the platform than the number of “day one” apps.

Virtual Reality

​Macworld Macworld

You may have heard that Apple Vision Pro has an app problem. No Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Gmail, Instagram…there are some obvious big gaps. But Apple is seeking to counter the “there’s no apps” argument on the eve of the Vision Pro’s launch with a press release touting 600 apps built specifically for the platform.

The App Store on Apple Vision Pro will contain over 600 spatial computing apps when the headset launches on February 2; that number is a tiny fraction of what is available on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, but is expected to grow over time.

Apple highlighted sports apps like PGA TOUR Vision, apps from MLB and NBA, and Red Bull TV. For traditional streaming, Disney+ and Max got shout-outs. Productivity apps like Box, Numerics, Microsoft 365, and Fantastical were highlighted, too. For video meetings, there’s Zoom, Teams, and WebEx.

Games are, of course, expected to be very popular. It’s the most popular mobile category and the most popular activity on current VR headsets. Apple mentioned that you can pair the PlayStation DualSense and the Xbox Wireless Controller to play controller-based games in a window, but there’s no app from Xbox or Playstation to stream their game libraries and no way to hook up a console’s HDMI output to the Vision Pro. Instead, the controllers can be used to play compatible Apple Arcade games (over 250) in a window. There will be a number of new spatial games like Super Fruit Ninja, Game Room, WHAT THE GOLF?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Bloons TD 6+, stitch., Patterned, Illustrated, and Wylde Flowers.

Creative apps like djay will let you mix using realistic 3D turntables, Sky Guide and Night Sky put the sky around you with interactive elements, and J.Crew Virtual Closet lets you see garments in 3D on a mannequin, in 3D environments.

The press release mixes mentions of new spatial computing apps with namedropping “compatible” apps, which are just the iPhone or iPad versions. Prior to launch, developers were able to update their apps to “opt out” of allowing their iPad apps to run on Vision Pro. These are unaltered apps that run in a floating window and are interacted with just as you would on an iPad or iPhone—it’s good to see over a million of them will be available, but you don’t spend $4,000 on a spatial computer to run unaltered iPad apps, right?

While 600 apps is not a very big number, not for a much-ballyhooed new Apple platform, it’s only the beginning. Less important than any exact number of apps is which apps are available, and how they work. If the apps you use the most often, or which would take advantage of the platform the best, have good optimized Vision Pro versions then it doesn’t matter if there are one thousand or one million. On the other hand, a huge app library doesn’t mean anything if your go-to apps aren’t part of it. The apps released and updated within the coming weeks and months will be a better measure of the health of the platform than the number of “day one” apps.

Virtual Reality 

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