Apple Vision Pro will launch with 600 apps made for it

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said in a tweet that there are more than 600 apps debuting tomorrow for the Apple Vision Pro.

The mixed reality headset from Apple goes on sale on Friday for $3,500. Estimates suggest the production of the units is in the low hundreds of thousands of units, which is small for a new Apple product but not surprising considering the price and likely production challenges.

“When Apple Vision Pro launches tomorrow, users will be able to explore more than one million apps, including 600 apps made specifically for Vision Pro! The creativity of developers is amazing, and this is just the beginning. Endless possibilities await!” Cook tweeted.

Unity launched its game engine support for the Apple Vision Pro this week, enabling developers to more easily create apps for the platform.

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Reviews are coming in from a select group of publications that received products from Apple. They’re positive when it comes to the visual quality of the device, which has M2 and R1 processors, 4K OLED displays, good eye tracking and 3D spatial video. The field of view is slightly less than the Meta Quest 3’s 110 degrees. The tech gets rid of the “screendoor effect” visible in most VR headsets. Apple says it’s like watching a video on a “100-foot screen.”

The reviewers like Todd Hazelton at CNBC said the ability to see and use multiple screens at once within the headset. You could watch four sports events at once, as an example. Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal noted she started getting real work done when she paired the Vision Pro with a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth. The virtual keyboard isn’t easy enough to use.

And while Apple says you can wear it all day long, a team of Stanford researchers led by Jeremy Bailenson suggested that more study be done about the effects of mixed reality headset use before people start doing that.

For some reason big apps like YouTube and Netflix aren’t available yet. The battery life is only two hours to 2.5 hours, and the tethered cable that leads to the battery in your pocket can get in your way, said Mark Spoonauer of Tom’s Hardware.

Gamers may have to wait for more interesting titles to come, though some are available now, like Lego Builder’s Journey. There are no game controllers for the Apple Vision Pro, as the input system is based on both eye and finger control.

You can use Excel spreadsheets and other Microsoft productivity software across multiple screens. You can also use Webex and Slack. You have to think about tradeoffs like messing up your hair every time you put it on and face pressure, wrote Nilay Pitel at the Verge. That will make you think twice about wearing it all day and every day.

It is a little disturbing to think that 600 apps are arriving for a platform that right now might have 200,000 units available in the market. I’m hoping no one is really counting on this platform to generate a lot of software revenue right now. But we’ll see how those changes over time. Apple is reporting earnings today and we’ll see if there are any new details to report.

Here’s a close-up from the Apple event of the Apple Vision Pro.

“Apple Vision Pro is unlocking the imaginations of our worldwide developer community, and we’re inspired by the range of spatial experiences they’ve created for this exciting new platform,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, in a statement. “With more than 600 new spatial experiences to explore in the all-new App Store, alongside more than 1 million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, users can discover a wide array of apps that expand the boundaries of what’s possible. These incredible apps will change how we experience entertainment, music, and games; spark our imaginations with new ways to learn and explore; unlock productivity like never before; and so much more. Developers are already capturing the promise of spatial computing, and we can’t wait to see what they create next.”

Titles include PGA Tour Vision, an NBA app, Red Bull TV, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, and more. There apps from top cable services — including Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, Cox Contour, Sling TV, and Verizon Fios — and sports broadcasters — including ESPN, CBS, Paramount+, NBC, NBC Sports, Peacock, FOX Sports, and the UFC.

Disney+ is there, as well as IMAX and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max. Apple Music has 100 million songs ad-free with Spatial Audio featuring Dolby Atmos. Vision Pro users can pair a Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad or other Mac accessories.

There are visualization apps like OmniFocus and OmniPlan, for data and project management. JigSpace combines 3D content and more in spatial presentations. Navi translates conversations live.

With Apple Arcade, players can access a catalog of more than 250 games on Apple Vision Pro, with no in-app purchases or ads, including hit titles like NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition, Sonic Dream Team, and TMNT Splintered Fate. Arcade players will also experience the world of spatial gaming with a selection of immersive titles created specifically for Vision Pro.

Other games for the Vision Pro include Synth Riders, Lego Builder’s Journey, Super Fruit Ninja, and more. Additional spatial games available with Apple Arcade at launch include Game Room, What the Golf?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Bloons TD 6+, stitch., Patterned, Illustrated, and Wylde Flowers.

In an analyst call, Cook said, “Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary device….It’s years ahead of anything else…. Moments like these are what we live for at Apple.”

He also said that Apple is “incredibly excited” about the enterprise opportunity for the Vision Pro, which means Apple wants to go after the same market targeted by Magic Leap with its Magic Leap 2 AR headset.

In response to a question, he said “we’re obviously looking forward to tomorrow” and it represented years of work for so many at Apple.

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