Apple Vision Pro: Everything you need to know

Macworld

Apple’s Vision Pro headset goes on sale in Apple Stores in the U.S. today: Friday, February 2. Whether you have a spare $3,499 lying around or not, here’s what you need to know about Apple’s newest product, what it means for the company, how well it’s selling, how well it’s being received, and what the future might hold for this new category of Apple product.

Update 2/2: Apple Vision Pro is now on sale in the U.S.

Want to know what it’s like to wear a Vision Pro? Macworld’s Roman Loyola has and he describes the experience here: I entered Apple’s thrilling Vision Pro world and didn’t want to leave! We also discuss his experiences with the Vision Pro below.

Apple has released a couple of commercials for the Vision Pro, which you can watch below:

Apple Vision Pro release date

When it revealed the Vision Pro at WWDC in June 2023, Apple said that the Vision Pro headset would be available “early next year”. Pre-orders started on January 19 and the device finally went on sale on February 2. However, that’s only in the U.S.

The headset will initially be available in the U.S. only., with Apple indicating at the initial unveiling in 2023 that other countries would have to wait until “later next year”. As for when in 2024 that might be, in July 2023 Gurman suggested that the U.K. and Canada could see the new headset launch shortly after the U.S. launch, while Asia and other parts of Europe might have to wait until later in year or 2025.

We still don’t know for sure when to expect the Vision Pro to launch outside the U.S., but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted (in January 2024) that Vision Pro is likely to launch outside the U.S. before WWDC 2024. He reasons this based on the idea that Apple will want to be able to boast to developers about good adoption levels. So we could see an announcement relating to the release in U.K, Canada, and other countries at a spring event or in the March/April time frame.

Why does the rest of the world have to wait? This will no doubt be due to differences in regulations between countries, as well as limited stock and Apple’s desire to see if the sales process goes smoothly in the U.S. before expanding the product’s scope.

How to buy Apple Vision Pro

If you want to buy the Vision Pro you can order one from Apple’s website.

The device is available to purchase from Apple Stores around the United States, although availability is likely to be limited initially.

Apple Vision Pro




Many people won’t just want to buy a Vision Pro without trying it out first, so Apple is holding demos at Apple Stores. You’ll be able to get a Vision Pro properly fitted and have a walkthrough of the features.

The device potentially requires precise fitting, including the use of additional lens inserts, so Apple’s staff are reportedly being trained to do this.

If you can’t attend an Apple Store for precise fitting there is an app on iPhone or iPad that can scan your face to determine the correct size for you.

Apple

Apple Vision Pro price

The Vision Pro will start at $3,499 with 256GB of storage. There is no option for more storage currently, but it’s claimed that some developer units came with 1TB storage (see below for more information about the specs).

Apple hasn’t confirmed the price outside the U.S. yet, but based on Apple’s usual pricing structure that probably means £3,499 in the U.K.

Apple Vision Pro comes with both a Solo Knit Band and a Dual Loop Band so the user can select the most comfortable one or wear both if desired. It also comes with an external battery pack, USB-C charging cable, and power adapter, two light seal cushions, a cover, as well as a Polishing Cloth (which Apple normally sells for $19). It’s quite a big box.

There will be an additional cost associated with any prescription lenses that are required. You will pay $99 for Zeiss Optical Inserts (Readers) and $149 for ZEISS Prescription Optical Inserts. More on these additional lenses below.

There are also other accessories available for purchase, including a travel case ($199), battery ($199), Belkin Battery Holder ($50), Solo knit Band ($99), Dual Loop Band ($99), Light Seal ($199), and Light Seal Cushion ($29). AppleCare+ is also available for $499.

Will there be a cheaper Apple Vision Pro?

We took the fact that the Vision Pro has the word Pro in its name as a big hint that a less Pro version will be coming down the line. That’s not exactly evidence, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that a cheaper headset will arrive in 2025.

In a June 2023 newsletter, he wrote that a “cheaper” version of the Vision Pro is in development. It will likely have “lower quality screens, either an iPhone-grade chip or an older Mac chip, and fewer cameras.” He also reported in October that Apple’s Vision Pro is already working on the sequel to the headset, which will be cheaper than the original model.

Gurman suggests the cheaper headset will be called either Apple Vision or Apple Vision One.

The Vision Pro is likely to follow the example of the HomePod with the expensive pro model paving the way for a cheaper option down the line. But it could be a while before the economies of scale make a cheaper Vision Pro possible.

How well is Vision Pro selling?

Shipping times have slipped soon after pre-orders began, although analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t think that the Vision Pro sold out fast enough. He estimates Apple sold some 160,000 to 180,000 Vision Pro units.

Other reports indicate that Apple sold around 200,000 Vision Pro headsets during the two-week preorder period. Those aren’t iPhone numbers, but the iPhone didn’t cost $3,500.

Ming-Chi Kuo claims hitting 500,000 units sold in 2024 is within reach.

Apple Vision Pro prescription eyewear

The Vision Pro can’t be used while wearing glasses so those who need glasses will be able to purchase custom optical inserts to correct their vision. These ZEISS Optical Inserts are sold separately and magnetically attach to the headset’s lenses. The additional lenses are not included in the price of the headset, so there is an additional cost associated with them.

When Macworld’s Roman Loyola tried out the Vision Pro at Apple Park an optometrist measured his prescription and Apple fitted the headset with the appropriate lenses. He then removed his glasses when he put the headset on. He said he was able to see, but thought that maybe the prescription wasn’t exact because he noticed fuzziness with text.

If you want to get corrective lenses for your Vision Pro you will have to submit a “valid, unexpired prescription from a U.S. eye-care professional”, however, you don’t need to upload your prescription at the time of purchase. Zeiss Optical Inserts can be ordered separately for your own Vision Pro or someone else’s device.

There is information about the cost of lenses in the price section above. According to Apple, you will be required to pay $99 for Zeiss Optical Inserts (readers) and $149 for ZEISS Optical Inserts (prescription).

Apple Vision Pro compatibility

Apple hasn’t said anything about compatibility in terms of whether you will need a particular generation of iPhone to use the Vision Pro, but it seems likely that it won’t be supported by every handset, in fact, it seems that you don’t even need an iPhone or Mac to use it.

The Vision Pro’s display can be mirrored to any AirPlay‑enabled device, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV (2nd generation or later), or an AirPlay‑enabled smart TV.

Apple has also confirmed that Vision Pro will support “popular game controllers”.

Apple Vision Pro specs

The Vision Pro will, according to Apple, “deliver phenomenal compute performance.” It is powered by both an M2 processor and a new R1 chip used to process input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Vision Pro’s M2 will have 8 CPU cores (4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), and 10 GPU cores. That’s the same as the higher-end version of the M2 in the 15-inch MacBook Air and the Mac mini (in fact we describe it as like wearing a Mac mini on your head). Reports also suggest that it includes 16GB of unified memory.

Hearing the M2 chip in the Vision Pro is the higher end variant with 10 GPU cores and 8 CPU cores. Separately, Apple Card Installments will indeed be an option at checkout online and at retail stores. https://t.co/MPsLc1TIca

— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 14, 2024

The M2 could support up to 24GB RAM but it’s not clear if more memory will ever be an option. The only option right now is for 256GB of storage, but Vision Pro developer kits were outfitted with 1TB of storage, so more storage could be a future option.

So that’s:

8 CPU cores (4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores)

10 GPU cores

16GB unified storage

256GB SSD

Apple boasts that the Vision Pro eliminates lag to avoid latency and claims it can update images at eight times faster than the blink of an eye.

The headset also “runs virtually silent”, according to Apple.

There are two ultra-high-resolution displays that combine to produce 23 million pixels and create a 4K display for each that could generate a display that appears to be 100 feet wide. Video can be rendered at 4K resolution and text appears sharp from any angle.

There are two individually amplified drivers inside each audio pod that can deliver Personalized Spatial Audio based on the user’s own head and ear geometry. As a result, the sound feels like it is coming from the space around you. Vision Pro also matches the sound to the room using audio raytracing. There’s also an advanced sensor array.

Inside the lenses, a high-performance eye-tracking system uses cameras and a ring of LEDs to project invisible light patterns on the user’s eyes. As a result, the Apple headset is able to tell what way the user is looking and use high-performance eye tracking to control the interface. There are no external accessories other than controllers for playing games.

The Vision Pro also recognizes the user’s iris via a new method to unlock the device and authenticate passwords and purchases called Optic ID. Like the iPhone and Mac, all data is stored on a dedicated Secure Enclave processor.

There’s also a nifty feature called EyeSight that projects the correct perspective of your eyes to the people looking at you. EyeSight also includes a visual indicator that makes it clear to others when a user is capturing a spatial photo or video.

Apple Vision Pro battery life

Apple says the Vision Pro’s external battery pack provides up to two hours of use. It can also be used while plugged in.

Apple

Apple Vision Pro design

Apple has picked the materials that the Apple Vision Pro is made from to make it as “wearable” as possible. A custom aluminum alloy frame curves around the user’s face and a modular design means it can be “perfectly” tailored to fit each user.

Each Vision Pro comes with two Light Seal cushions that come in multiple sizes and styles. The Light Seal is made of a soft textile that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the user’s face for a precise fit. There are flexible straps that can be adjusted to fit the head and ensure that the Audio Pods are positioned near the ears.

Weight & Dimensions

According to Apple Vision Pro tech specs, the headset weighs 21.2 to 22.9 ounces (600 to 650 grams) depending on the Light Seal and headband configuration. That’s about the weight of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (24 ounces/682 grams). It’s heavy and that’s not even including the battery pack, which weighs 12.5 ounces (353 grams).

This makes the Vision Pro much heavier than the Meta Quest 3, which weighs 18.2 ounces (516 grams) and PlayStation VR2 (19.8 ounces/560 grams).

What it is like to use Vision Pro

With a Vision Pro headset users will be able to watch a movie, listen to music, browse photos, look at 3D objects, and even collaborate on a presentation.

Users will experience a three-dimensional interface and input system that they control with their eyes, hands and voice. It will be possible to interact with apps by looking at them, tapping fingers to select or flicking a wrist to scroll. It will also be possible to use a virtual keyboard or dictate to type. Siri will also be used to control the device.

Apple has posted a 10-minute guided tour explaining how navigation and gestures work as well as several apps. 

Back in June 2023, Macworld’s Roman Loyola was able to spend an hour wearing a Vision Pro, an experience he described as “emotional, immersive, and completely captivating.”

Now that the Vision Pro is available to buy some early reviews have started to appear. While reviewers are calling it “the best wearable display” ever made, there is some criticism too. Reviews are peppered with questions about the device’s purpose and appeal, its heavy weight, large size, poor battery life, and lack of a clear killer app. See our Vision Pro reviews roundup.

Apple

The Vision Pro input system is controlled by a person’s eyes, hands, and voice. But the real control happens with your eyes: Vision Pro is able to detect exactly where you are looking. As a result, users can browse through apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using voice to dictate. You can just look at a text input and begin dictating, for example.

Loyola confirmed that you don’t have to hold out your arms to gesture to control the interface, you navigate by looking at what you want to see, and then use hand gestures to perform actions. Loyola said he didn’t have too hard a time adjusting from using fingers to tap icons to using his eyes and that “Eye tracking was accurate and didn’t feel like it put a strain on my eyes,” he reported. It took about 20 minutes for controlling the interface this way to feel natural, Loyola said.

When you first put on Vision Pro you see your surroundings. You can freely move apps to fill the space around you and they can expand into your space. Apple says you can control how immersed you are in Vision Pro with a twist of the Digital Crown.

Loyola described being put right in the middle of the recorded memory that “triggered memories and emotions of my own from similar moments.” He said that the immersive video gave him “thrills,” explaining: “My body reacted to situations and my mind responded to the sights and sounds.” In one demo, Loyola “got to pet a freakin’ dinosaur. Not a beast that looks like a 3D model set against an illustrated background, but a realistic-looking dinosaur that sniffed my hand and let me pet it.” It all sounds pretty impressive.

According to Loyola, you do see the headset while wearing it, though it doesn’t interfere with the sense of immersion.

While there are other headsets that can offer an immersive experience, Loyola notes that “the difference with the Apple Vision Pro is the two displays set in front of each eye. The resolution and color they display are fantastic and make things look realistic.” While Loyola did experience some pixelation and playback stutter (of the people in the room with him not of the videos) he was impressed.

If you are concerned that the Vision Pro might not fit you, fear not. Loyola, who feels that his head is large, said: “When I first put the Apple Vision Pro on, I had to tighten–not loosen–the straps to get a proper fit”. He added: “The headset had a Velcro strap that goes across the top of your head–this strap is not shown in Apple’s product photos or videos. I think that after the measurements were taken of my head, Apple determined that I would benefit from this top strap”. There is also a Light Seal that fits across the forehead where the eyebrows are, Apple said that this seal is available in multitudes of shapes and sizes to ensure the perfect fit.

After wearing the Vision Pro for an hour Loyola said that he didn’t have any fatigue in his neck or any tenderness where the headset and straps hugged his head. There were some reports of testers suffering from soreness around the top of their head, but it’s very possible they were also dealing with sunburn since Apple’s keynote had been delivered outside in bright sunlight.

Apple described one design goal of Vision Pro as being to be “Never isolated from the people around you”. It achieves this in various ways, one is by displaying your eyes when there is someone near you. This is called EyeSight and it is designed to send a clear signal to people that you can’t see them when that is the case. Similarly, if someone is nearby by they will appear in your view. This way it should still be easy to interact with the world around you while wearing the headset.

A user can bring Mac wirelessly into Apple Vision Pro just by looking at it. The contents of the Mac screen are then brought onto the 4K display you see through the Vision Pro. Loyola wasn’t able to test this feature.

An advanced Spatial Audio system is core to the Apple Vision Pro experience, creating the feeling that sounds are coming from the environment around the user and matching the sound to the space, according to Apple. The Vision Pro will also work seamlessly with familiar Bluetooth accessories, according to Apple.

Apple Vision Pro software and apps

The Vision Pro headset runs visionOS, an operating system that Apple has designed from the ground up for visual computing.

Prior to launch of the Vision Pro Apple made two updates to the visionOS. visionOS 1.0.1 was released a few days before launch and a serious zero-day WebKit vulnerability was also addressed in vision 1.0.2 on the day before launch (the same flaw was also patched in iOS 17.3 and macOS 14.3).

There will also be a number of well-known Apple apps available at launch, such as Safari, Messages, and FaceTime. Apple launched Vision Pro with more than 600 optimized apps.

There will be an App Store via which users will be able to download familiar iPhone and iPad apps as well as new apps designed for Vision Pro. Apple said in the June announcement that there will be lots of apps available at launch, including Microsoft Office Apps, third-party video conferencing apps, and Adobe Lightroom. Apple also previewed a SkyGuide app that can “transfer” you to space. In the press release announcing the pre-order availability Apple said, “Since visionOS leverages existing developer frameworks, more than 1 million familiar apps across iOS and iPadOS are available on Apple Vision Pro and automatically work with the new input system,” indicating that many apps will just work on the new platform.

Users will be able to view apps side by side for multitasking.

Apple says that Vision Pro “makes new types of games possible.” Users will be able to play over 100 Apple Arcade games on a screen as large as they want with support for popular game controllers.

Developers, developers, developers

Apple will need developers onside if the Vision Pro is to be a success. The visionOS software development kit is available to members of the Apple Developer Program and Apple has opened developer labs at its Cupertino, California headquarters, as well as in London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. At the lab, developers can get hands-on experience with Apple Vision Pro hardware and support from Apple engineers. Unfortunately, there may be a few hiccups in that respect. A number of high-profile app developers (including YouTube, Spotify and Netflix) have said that they don’t intend to make Vision Pro versions of their apps, and Apple has also upset some developers with the way it is complying (perhaps maliciously) to the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Apple isn’t completely reliant on developers to showcase apps on the Vision Pro though. Here are some of the apps and features available on the Vision Pro:

Video Conferencing

FaceTime will be available for the Vision Pro and will be able to take advantage of the room around you so that you can see everyone you are talking to in life-size tiles. The participant’s voice will also come from the direction of their tile thanks to Spatial Audio.

Apple has created a novel solution to the fact that you have a mask on and don’t have a camera in front of you. It can show call participants a ‘Persona’–a digital representation of the user created using Apple’s most advanced machine-learning techniques. The Persona is based on your appearance and can even reflect face and hand movements in real-time.

Apple

TV and movies

Entertainment was a major part of the WWDC presentation, with Apple showing off an immersive experience when watching movies and TV shows. With the new Cinema Environment, you’ll be able to watch shows and movies “at the frame rate and aspect ratio the filmmaker intended with immersive Spatial Audio” and watch movies on what feels like a 100-feet screen. Vision Pro will also support 3D movies including Avatar: Way of the Water.

Apple says that within the Apple TV app will be more than 150 3D titles that Vision Pro users can access.

Disney CEO Bob Iger joined Apple on stage in June 2023 to demonstrate his excitement about the new technology. In a video demo, he showed movies, TV shows, and sports on Vision Pro that bring entertainment to new levels, including special movie presentations, court-side views, and interactive experiences. Iger said Disney content will be available on day one.

Apple has listed Apple TV+, Disney+, Max, and other services on a screen that feels 100 feet wide with support for HDR content as being compatible with the Vision Pro.

Vision Pro also introduces Apple Immersive Video which Apple says puts users inside the action with 180-degree, three-dimensional 8K recordings captured with Spatial Audio.

A September 2023 update to the AirPods Pro with a USB-C case added support for lossless audio when used with an Apple Vision Pro headset.

Photos and videos

The Vision Pro will deliver more pixels to each eye than a 4K TV, so it should be idea for watching TV shows and movies.

You’ll be able to take spatial photos and spatial videos in 3D with Vision Pro, and then “relive those cherished moments like never before with immersive Spatial Audio.” And of course, you’ll be able to view your plain 2D photos and videos as well, for example, Panorama photos shot on an iPhone will expand and wrap around the user.

In iOS 17.2, there’s a new option in the Camera settings to record spatial vision for Vision Pro. Users can capture spatial video on their iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max and play them back on Vision Pro.

Users can also view their photos, including panoramas, and videos at life-size.

Gaming

It will be possible to play any games on the App Store, including the 250 titles on Apple Arcade. That includes games like Sonic Dream Team. New spatial games will also be available including Game Room, What the Golf?, and Super Fruit Ninja.

Apple Vision Pro terminology

VR = Virtual Reality (completely replaces your view)

AR = Augmented Reality (overlays real world with graphics and information)

MR = Mixed Reality (combining AR and VR)

XR = Extended Reality (combining AR, VR and MR)

An early Apple Patent

Apple

Apple Vision Pro problems and prohibitions

If you have any of the following conditions you may not be able to use an Apple headset.

If you’re prone to inner ear infections, have ADHD/ADD, anxiety disorders, a pacemaker, epilepsy, blackouts/seizures or are pregnant, you may be warned against using the headset. In addition to Meniere’s disease, past traumatic brain injuries, post-concussion syndrome, migraines. https://t.co/fuasZ1Cy8F

— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 2, 2023

Those are all standard limitations for VR headsets, but nonetheless it illustrates the fact that this headset won’t be for everyone.

Computer Accessories, Virtual Reality

​Macworld Macworld

Apple’s Vision Pro headset goes on sale in Apple Stores in the U.S. today: Friday, February 2. Whether you have a spare $3,499 lying around or not, here’s what you need to know about Apple’s newest product, what it means for the company, how well it’s selling, how well it’s being received, and what the future might hold for this new category of Apple product.

Update 2/2: Apple Vision Pro is now on sale in the U.S.

Want to know what it’s like to wear a Vision Pro? Macworld’s Roman Loyola has and he describes the experience here: I entered Apple’s thrilling Vision Pro world and didn’t want to leave! We also discuss his experiences with the Vision Pro below.

Apple has released a couple of commercials for the Vision Pro, which you can watch below:

Apple Vision Pro release date

When it revealed the Vision Pro at WWDC in June 2023, Apple said that the Vision Pro headset would be available “early next year”. Pre-orders started on January 19 and the device finally went on sale on February 2. However, that’s only in the U.S.

The headset will initially be available in the U.S. only., with Apple indicating at the initial unveiling in 2023 that other countries would have to wait until “later next year”. As for when in 2024 that might be, in July 2023 Gurman suggested that the U.K. and Canada could see the new headset launch shortly after the U.S. launch, while Asia and other parts of Europe might have to wait until later in year or 2025.

We still don’t know for sure when to expect the Vision Pro to launch outside the U.S., but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted (in January 2024) that Vision Pro is likely to launch outside the U.S. before WWDC 2024. He reasons this based on the idea that Apple will want to be able to boast to developers about good adoption levels. So we could see an announcement relating to the release in U.K, Canada, and other countries at a spring event or in the March/April time frame.

Why does the rest of the world have to wait? This will no doubt be due to differences in regulations between countries, as well as limited stock and Apple’s desire to see if the sales process goes smoothly in the U.S. before expanding the product’s scope.

How to buy Apple Vision Pro

If you want to buy the Vision Pro you can order one from Apple’s website.

The device is available to purchase from Apple Stores around the United States, although availability is likely to be limited initially.

Apple Vision Pro

Many people won’t just want to buy a Vision Pro without trying it out first, so Apple is holding demos at Apple Stores. You’ll be able to get a Vision Pro properly fitted and have a walkthrough of the features.

The device potentially requires precise fitting, including the use of additional lens inserts, so Apple’s staff are reportedly being trained to do this.

If you can’t attend an Apple Store for precise fitting there is an app on iPhone or iPad that can scan your face to determine the correct size for you.

Apple

Apple Vision Pro price

The Vision Pro will start at $3,499 with 256GB of storage. There is no option for more storage currently, but it’s claimed that some developer units came with 1TB storage (see below for more information about the specs).

Apple hasn’t confirmed the price outside the U.S. yet, but based on Apple’s usual pricing structure that probably means £3,499 in the U.K.

Apple Vision Pro comes with both a Solo Knit Band and a Dual Loop Band so the user can select the most comfortable one or wear both if desired. It also comes with an external battery pack, USB-C charging cable, and power adapter, two light seal cushions, a cover, as well as a Polishing Cloth (which Apple normally sells for $19). It’s quite a big box.

There will be an additional cost associated with any prescription lenses that are required. You will pay $99 for Zeiss Optical Inserts (Readers) and $149 for ZEISS Prescription Optical Inserts. More on these additional lenses below.

There are also other accessories available for purchase, including a travel case ($199), battery ($199), Belkin Battery Holder ($50), Solo knit Band ($99), Dual Loop Band ($99), Light Seal ($199), and Light Seal Cushion ($29). AppleCare+ is also available for $499.

MacRumors

Will there be a cheaper Apple Vision Pro?

We took the fact that the Vision Pro has the word Pro in its name as a big hint that a less Pro version will be coming down the line. That’s not exactly evidence, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that a cheaper headset will arrive in 2025.

In a June 2023 newsletter, he wrote that a “cheaper” version of the Vision Pro is in development. It will likely have “lower quality screens, either an iPhone-grade chip or an older Mac chip, and fewer cameras.” He also reported in October that Apple’s Vision Pro is already working on the sequel to the headset, which will be cheaper than the original model.

Gurman suggests the cheaper headset will be called either Apple Vision or Apple Vision One.

The Vision Pro is likely to follow the example of the HomePod with the expensive pro model paving the way for a cheaper option down the line. But it could be a while before the economies of scale make a cheaper Vision Pro possible.

How well is Vision Pro selling?

Shipping times have slipped soon after pre-orders began, although analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t think that the Vision Pro sold out fast enough. He estimates Apple sold some 160,000 to 180,000 Vision Pro units.

Other reports indicate that Apple sold around 200,000 Vision Pro headsets during the two-week preorder period. Those aren’t iPhone numbers, but the iPhone didn’t cost $3,500.

Ming-Chi Kuo claims hitting 500,000 units sold in 2024 is within reach.

Apple Vision Pro prescription eyewear

The Vision Pro can’t be used while wearing glasses so those who need glasses will be able to purchase custom optical inserts to correct their vision. These ZEISS Optical Inserts are sold separately and magnetically attach to the headset’s lenses. The additional lenses are not included in the price of the headset, so there is an additional cost associated with them.

When Macworld’s Roman Loyola tried out the Vision Pro at Apple Park an optometrist measured his prescription and Apple fitted the headset with the appropriate lenses. He then removed his glasses when he put the headset on. He said he was able to see, but thought that maybe the prescription wasn’t exact because he noticed fuzziness with text.

If you want to get corrective lenses for your Vision Pro you will have to submit a “valid, unexpired prescription from a U.S. eye-care professional”, however, you don’t need to upload your prescription at the time of purchase. Zeiss Optical Inserts can be ordered separately for your own Vision Pro or someone else’s device.

There is information about the cost of lenses in the price section above. According to Apple, you will be required to pay $99 for Zeiss Optical Inserts (readers) and $149 for ZEISS Optical Inserts (prescription).

Apple Vision Pro compatibility

Apple hasn’t said anything about compatibility in terms of whether you will need a particular generation of iPhone to use the Vision Pro, but it seems likely that it won’t be supported by every handset, in fact, it seems that you don’t even need an iPhone or Mac to use it.

The Vision Pro’s display can be mirrored to any AirPlay‑enabled device, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV (2nd generation or later), or an AirPlay‑enabled smart TV.

Apple has also confirmed that Vision Pro will support “popular game controllers”.

Apple Vision Pro specs

The Vision Pro will, according to Apple, “deliver phenomenal compute performance.” It is powered by both an M2 processor and a new R1 chip used to process input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Vision Pro’s M2 will have 8 CPU cores (4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), and 10 GPU cores. That’s the same as the higher-end version of the M2 in the 15-inch MacBook Air and the Mac mini (in fact we describe it as like wearing a Mac mini on your head). Reports also suggest that it includes 16GB of unified memory.

Hearing the M2 chip in the Vision Pro is the higher end variant with 10 GPU cores and 8 CPU cores. Separately, Apple Card Installments will indeed be an option at checkout online and at retail stores. https://t.co/MPsLc1TIca— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 14, 2024

The M2 could support up to 24GB RAM but it’s not clear if more memory will ever be an option. The only option right now is for 256GB of storage, but Vision Pro developer kits were outfitted with 1TB of storage, so more storage could be a future option.

So that’s:

8 CPU cores (4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores)

10 GPU cores

16GB unified storage

256GB SSD

Apple boasts that the Vision Pro eliminates lag to avoid latency and claims it can update images at eight times faster than the blink of an eye.

The headset also “runs virtually silent”, according to Apple.

There are two ultra-high-resolution displays that combine to produce 23 million pixels and create a 4K display for each that could generate a display that appears to be 100 feet wide. Video can be rendered at 4K resolution and text appears sharp from any angle.

There are two individually amplified drivers inside each audio pod that can deliver Personalized Spatial Audio based on the user’s own head and ear geometry. As a result, the sound feels like it is coming from the space around you. Vision Pro also matches the sound to the room using audio raytracing. There’s also an advanced sensor array.

Inside the lenses, a high-performance eye-tracking system uses cameras and a ring of LEDs to project invisible light patterns on the user’s eyes. As a result, the Apple headset is able to tell what way the user is looking and use high-performance eye tracking to control the interface. There are no external accessories other than controllers for playing games.

The Vision Pro also recognizes the user’s iris via a new method to unlock the device and authenticate passwords and purchases called Optic ID. Like the iPhone and Mac, all data is stored on a dedicated Secure Enclave processor.

There’s also a nifty feature called EyeSight that projects the correct perspective of your eyes to the people looking at you. EyeSight also includes a visual indicator that makes it clear to others when a user is capturing a spatial photo or video.

Apple Vision Pro battery life

Apple says the Vision Pro’s external battery pack provides up to two hours of use. It can also be used while plugged in.

Apple

Apple Vision Pro design

Apple has picked the materials that the Apple Vision Pro is made from to make it as “wearable” as possible. A custom aluminum alloy frame curves around the user’s face and a modular design means it can be “perfectly” tailored to fit each user.

Each Vision Pro comes with two Light Seal cushions that come in multiple sizes and styles. The Light Seal is made of a soft textile that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the user’s face for a precise fit. There are flexible straps that can be adjusted to fit the head and ensure that the Audio Pods are positioned near the ears.

Weight & Dimensions

According to Apple Vision Pro tech specs, the headset weighs 21.2 to 22.9 ounces (600 to 650 grams) depending on the Light Seal and headband configuration. That’s about the weight of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (24 ounces/682 grams). It’s heavy and that’s not even including the battery pack, which weighs 12.5 ounces (353 grams).

This makes the Vision Pro much heavier than the Meta Quest 3, which weighs 18.2 ounces (516 grams) and PlayStation VR2 (19.8 ounces/560 grams).

What it is like to use Vision Pro

With a Vision Pro headset users will be able to watch a movie, listen to music, browse photos, look at 3D objects, and even collaborate on a presentation.

Users will experience a three-dimensional interface and input system that they control with their eyes, hands and voice. It will be possible to interact with apps by looking at them, tapping fingers to select or flicking a wrist to scroll. It will also be possible to use a virtual keyboard or dictate to type. Siri will also be used to control the device.

Apple has posted a 10-minute guided tour explaining how navigation and gestures work as well as several apps. 

Back in June 2023, Macworld’s Roman Loyola was able to spend an hour wearing a Vision Pro, an experience he described as “emotional, immersive, and completely captivating.”

Now that the Vision Pro is available to buy some early reviews have started to appear. While reviewers are calling it “the best wearable display” ever made, there is some criticism too. Reviews are peppered with questions about the device’s purpose and appeal, its heavy weight, large size, poor battery life, and lack of a clear killer app. See our Vision Pro reviews roundup.

Apple

The Vision Pro input system is controlled by a person’s eyes, hands, and voice. But the real control happens with your eyes: Vision Pro is able to detect exactly where you are looking. As a result, users can browse through apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using voice to dictate. You can just look at a text input and begin dictating, for example.

Loyola confirmed that you don’t have to hold out your arms to gesture to control the interface, you navigate by looking at what you want to see, and then use hand gestures to perform actions. Loyola said he didn’t have too hard a time adjusting from using fingers to tap icons to using his eyes and that “Eye tracking was accurate and didn’t feel like it put a strain on my eyes,” he reported. It took about 20 minutes for controlling the interface this way to feel natural, Loyola said.

When you first put on Vision Pro you see your surroundings. You can freely move apps to fill the space around you and they can expand into your space. Apple says you can control how immersed you are in Vision Pro with a twist of the Digital Crown.

Loyola described being put right in the middle of the recorded memory that “triggered memories and emotions of my own from similar moments.” He said that the immersive video gave him “thrills,” explaining: “My body reacted to situations and my mind responded to the sights and sounds.” In one demo, Loyola “got to pet a freakin’ dinosaur. Not a beast that looks like a 3D model set against an illustrated background, but a realistic-looking dinosaur that sniffed my hand and let me pet it.” It all sounds pretty impressive.

According to Loyola, you do see the headset while wearing it, though it doesn’t interfere with the sense of immersion.

While there are other headsets that can offer an immersive experience, Loyola notes that “the difference with the Apple Vision Pro is the two displays set in front of each eye. The resolution and color they display are fantastic and make things look realistic.” While Loyola did experience some pixelation and playback stutter (of the people in the room with him not of the videos) he was impressed.

If you are concerned that the Vision Pro might not fit you, fear not. Loyola, who feels that his head is large, said: “When I first put the Apple Vision Pro on, I had to tighten–not loosen–the straps to get a proper fit”. He added: “The headset had a Velcro strap that goes across the top of your head–this strap is not shown in Apple’s product photos or videos. I think that after the measurements were taken of my head, Apple determined that I would benefit from this top strap”. There is also a Light Seal that fits across the forehead where the eyebrows are, Apple said that this seal is available in multitudes of shapes and sizes to ensure the perfect fit.

After wearing the Vision Pro for an hour Loyola said that he didn’t have any fatigue in his neck or any tenderness where the headset and straps hugged his head. There were some reports of testers suffering from soreness around the top of their head, but it’s very possible they were also dealing with sunburn since Apple’s keynote had been delivered outside in bright sunlight.

Apple described one design goal of Vision Pro as being to be “Never isolated from the people around you”. It achieves this in various ways, one is by displaying your eyes when there is someone near you. This is called EyeSight and it is designed to send a clear signal to people that you can’t see them when that is the case. Similarly, if someone is nearby by they will appear in your view. This way it should still be easy to interact with the world around you while wearing the headset.

A user can bring Mac wirelessly into Apple Vision Pro just by looking at it. The contents of the Mac screen are then brought onto the 4K display you see through the Vision Pro. Loyola wasn’t able to test this feature.

An advanced Spatial Audio system is core to the Apple Vision Pro experience, creating the feeling that sounds are coming from the environment around the user and matching the sound to the space, according to Apple. The Vision Pro will also work seamlessly with familiar Bluetooth accessories, according to Apple.

Apple Vision Pro software and apps

The Vision Pro headset runs visionOS, an operating system that Apple has designed from the ground up for visual computing.

Prior to launch of the Vision Pro Apple made two updates to the visionOS. visionOS 1.0.1 was released a few days before launch and a serious zero-day WebKit vulnerability was also addressed in vision 1.0.2 on the day before launch (the same flaw was also patched in iOS 17.3 and macOS 14.3).

There will also be a number of well-known Apple apps available at launch, such as Safari, Messages, and FaceTime. Apple launched Vision Pro with more than 600 optimized apps.

There will be an App Store via which users will be able to download familiar iPhone and iPad apps as well as new apps designed for Vision Pro. Apple said in the June announcement that there will be lots of apps available at launch, including Microsoft Office Apps, third-party video conferencing apps, and Adobe Lightroom. Apple also previewed a SkyGuide app that can “transfer” you to space. In the press release announcing the pre-order availability Apple said, “Since visionOS leverages existing developer frameworks, more than 1 million familiar apps across iOS and iPadOS are available on Apple Vision Pro and automatically work with the new input system,” indicating that many apps will just work on the new platform.

Users will be able to view apps side by side for multitasking.

Apple says that Vision Pro “makes new types of games possible.” Users will be able to play over 100 Apple Arcade games on a screen as large as they want with support for popular game controllers.

Developers, developers, developers

Apple will need developers onside if the Vision Pro is to be a success. The visionOS software development kit is available to members of the Apple Developer Program and Apple has opened developer labs at its Cupertino, California headquarters, as well as in London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. At the lab, developers can get hands-on experience with Apple Vision Pro hardware and support from Apple engineers. Unfortunately, there may be a few hiccups in that respect. A number of high-profile app developers (including YouTube, Spotify and Netflix) have said that they don’t intend to make Vision Pro versions of their apps, and Apple has also upset some developers with the way it is complying (perhaps maliciously) to the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Apple isn’t completely reliant on developers to showcase apps on the Vision Pro though. Here are some of the apps and features available on the Vision Pro:

Video Conferencing

FaceTime will be available for the Vision Pro and will be able to take advantage of the room around you so that you can see everyone you are talking to in life-size tiles. The participant’s voice will also come from the direction of their tile thanks to Spatial Audio.

Apple has created a novel solution to the fact that you have a mask on and don’t have a camera in front of you. It can show call participants a ‘Persona’–a digital representation of the user created using Apple’s most advanced machine-learning techniques. The Persona is based on your appearance and can even reflect face and hand movements in real-time.

Apple

TV and movies

Entertainment was a major part of the WWDC presentation, with Apple showing off an immersive experience when watching movies and TV shows. With the new Cinema Environment, you’ll be able to watch shows and movies “at the frame rate and aspect ratio the filmmaker intended with immersive Spatial Audio” and watch movies on what feels like a 100-feet screen. Vision Pro will also support 3D movies including Avatar: Way of the Water.

Apple says that within the Apple TV app will be more than 150 3D titles that Vision Pro users can access.

Disney CEO Bob Iger joined Apple on stage in June 2023 to demonstrate his excitement about the new technology. In a video demo, he showed movies, TV shows, and sports on Vision Pro that bring entertainment to new levels, including special movie presentations, court-side views, and interactive experiences. Iger said Disney content will be available on day one.

Apple has listed Apple TV+, Disney+, Max, and other services on a screen that feels 100 feet wide with support for HDR content as being compatible with the Vision Pro.

Vision Pro also introduces Apple Immersive Video which Apple says puts users inside the action with 180-degree, three-dimensional 8K recordings captured with Spatial Audio.

A September 2023 update to the AirPods Pro with a USB-C case added support for lossless audio when used with an Apple Vision Pro headset.

Photos and videos

The Vision Pro will deliver more pixels to each eye than a 4K TV, so it should be idea for watching TV shows and movies.

You’ll be able to take spatial photos and spatial videos in 3D with Vision Pro, and then “relive those cherished moments like never before with immersive Spatial Audio.” And of course, you’ll be able to view your plain 2D photos and videos as well, for example, Panorama photos shot on an iPhone will expand and wrap around the user.

In iOS 17.2, there’s a new option in the Camera settings to record spatial vision for Vision Pro. Users can capture spatial video on their iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max and play them back on Vision Pro.

Users can also view their photos, including panoramas, and videos at life-size.

Gaming

It will be possible to play any games on the App Store, including the 250 titles on Apple Arcade. That includes games like Sonic Dream Team. New spatial games will also be available including Game Room, What the Golf?, and Super Fruit Ninja.

Apple Vision Pro terminology

VR = Virtual Reality (completely replaces your view)

AR = Augmented Reality (overlays real world with graphics and information)

MR = Mixed Reality (combining AR and VR)

XR = Extended Reality (combining AR, VR and MR)

An early Apple PatentApple

Apple Vision Pro problems and prohibitions

If you have any of the following conditions you may not be able to use an Apple headset.

If you’re prone to inner ear infections, have ADHD/ADD, anxiety disorders, a pacemaker, epilepsy, blackouts/seizures or are pregnant, you may be warned against using the headset. In addition to Meniere’s disease, past traumatic brain injuries, post-concussion syndrome, migraines. https://t.co/fuasZ1Cy8F— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 2, 2023

Those are all standard limitations for VR headsets, but nonetheless it illustrates the fact that this headset won’t be for everyone.

Computer Accessories, Virtual Reality 

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