Ahead of the launch of the Vision Pro AR headset in early 2024, Apple started seeding the developer kit to select qualified applicants.
Company announced this week will be lending the Vision Pro developer kit to approved account holders in the Apple Developer Program. Developers must submit an application for the kit, provide details about their team’s development skills and existing application, and agree to terms and conditions before it is considered.
In its terms, Apple, which has the right to see a list of staff authorized to work on dev kits, prohibits family, friends, roommates, and household employees from accessing, viewing, or handling Vision Pro. Additionally, the provision prohibits developers from publicly discussing Vision Pro in person or on social media.
In addition to headset hardware, approved developers will receive assistance with setting up Vision Pro and onboarding, contacting Apple experts for UI design and development guidance, and assistance with troubleshooting any issues with their code.
Apple says that priority will be given to “applicants building apps that take advantage of the features and capabilities of visionOS” — “visionOS”, of course, refers to an OS that supports Vision Pro. And all developers, whenever they are approved, must return their development kit upon request.
Alongside the launch of the dev kit, Apple said this week it would be holding Vision Pro developer lab in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, which people can apply for on the company’s website. Apple also released a compatibility checklist to ensure that the app is ready for visionOS.
The Vision Pro, which was unveiled at Apple’s annual WWDC conference in June, is expected to retail in the next few months for $3,499. The company’s first major product launch since the Apple Watch in 2014, the Vision Pro is ambitious, packing a suite of sensors and cameras that enable what Apple calls a “spatial computing” experience.
Upon launch, visionOS will feature applications — including the Unity app, which runs natively on Vision Pro — from Adobe (specifically Lightroom), Microsoft (Teams and Office), Netflix, Cisco (WebEx) Zoom, and other major developers. There are medical software for viewing anatomical renderings and engineering applications for visualizing such things as physical phenomena, such as airflow, over real-world objects.
Those apps and more will be hosted in the new app store, which is launching alongside Vision Pro. Outside of apps, more than 100 Apple Arcade titles will be available to play on VisionOS in “day one,” Apple said.