Apple Vision Pro apps, coming to Apple’s latest spatial computing experience, will ensure individuals and teams can make the most of their new headset. Initially, Apple didn’t reveal much information about the apps available on the Vision Pro.
However, now that the device is set to start rolling out in February, we have more information about the “launch” experiences users can expect. In January, Apple previewed some new “entertainment experiences” coming to the headset with the help of apps from Disney+, ESPN, Discovery+, and more.
However, the Vision Pro is more than just a headset for immersive entertainment. With its new VisionOS operating system, Apple is promising users various unique solutions for productivity, collaboration, and more. Here’s your complete guide to the Apple Vision Pro apps coming at launch.
Apple Vision Pro Apps: The Types of Apps to Expect
So far, we’re still in the early stages of discovering which Apple Vision Pro apps will be available to users in the long term. When Apple announced the arrival of the Vision Pro, it also introduced users to a range of developer tools to encourage them to build their spatial apps.
This means many new apps will likely join Apple’s converted iPad and iPhone apps and compatible third-party solutions. Ultimately, you’ll have three different types of “Apple Vision Pro Apps” to choose from:
- iPad and iPhone apps: These are the (mostly unaltered) apps from your existing Apple devices that run as a window in VisionOS without any specific extra features. Think of things like the Apple iCloud and Wallet apps.
- They converted iPad and iPhone apps: Third-party and Apple-native apps that have been updated by a developer with visionOS to become a “native” app for Apple Vision Pro. These apps will include specific spatial computing and mixed-reality features.
- New VisionOS apps: Apps built from the ground up to work in mixed reality and take full advantage of the spatial computing capabilities offered by Vision Pro. Apple already offers developer resources to users who want to create these apps from scratch.
Apple Vision Pro Apps: The Apple Apps
During WWDC 2023, Apple’s debut of the Apple Vision Pro drew much attention to the existing Apple tools that would work on the headset. While the company dropped many hints about big names coming to the platform, such as Disney+, the team focused more on what the Vision Pro could do to elevate Apple user experiences.
For instance, the VisionOS beta contains over 20 built-in apps you’ll already be familiar with on Apple devices. These include Apple’s “Optic ID” for biometric security and MacOS and iOS standards like Contacts, Freeform, iTunes, and the Sleep widget.
Siri should also be a central part of the Vision Pro user experience, allowing users to communicate with their apps and devices through speech. For now, here’s a quick list of the “Apple” Vision Pro apps you can expect to see:
- App Store
- Apple TV
- Apple Arcade
Converted Apple Vision Pro Compatible Apps
When it comes to third-party Apple Vision Pro apps, the easiest option for developers is to simply convert their existing apps into solutions “compatible” with the Vision Pro. Currently, developers with apps on the app store need to actually “opt-out” of making their apps compatible with the device.
This should mean the Vision Pro store will immediately offer access to thousands of apps. However, it’s worth noting that “compatible” apps won’t necessarily provide the same intuitive and immersive experience as solutions built for the Apple Vision Pro.
The chances are many of these apps will just give you a window within the mixed-reality headset where you can interact with specific features. If you’re wondering whether your favorite apps are available on Vision Pro, you can use App Store API endpoints to find out.
Notably, however, while some apps are listed as “opted out” for now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t become available in the future. For instance, Apple showcased the Disney+ app for Vision Pro to members of the press, but this app is currently listed as “opted out.”
While you’re browsing through apps on the app store, remember that:
- Apps with a native “Vision Pro” version should be available at launch unless a developer decides to withdraw the app from sale.
- Apps that offer “compatibility” mode may or may not be available on launch day, depending on the choices made by the developer.
- If an app appears as “opted out” or not in native or compatibility mode, it might not be available on launch day but may be accessible later.
The Complete List of Compatible Third-Party Apps
As mentioned above, we’re still in the early days of seeing which third-party apps will be available for the Vision Pro. Apple has said significant companies like Microsoft and Disney will be producing apps for the system, but there isn’t much information about these apps on Apple’s site so far.
For now, here are some of the native and supported Apple Vision Pro apps you can expect to see:
- Disney+ (In progress)
- Sky Guide
- Amazon Prime Video
- Paramount +
- Premier League
- Microsoft 365 apps: Excel, Word, and Microsoft Teams
- Adobe Lightroom
- Washington Post
- The Guardian
- Uber Eats
The Apps Not Coming to Apple Vision Pro
Interestingly, according to a report by MacStories, none of the 46 most popular apps on the app store will have a native VisionOS version at launch. This doesn’t mean they won’t be available in the future, but it indicates you’ll be limited in the apps you can access when you first receive your headset. Some top-rated apps have also “opted out.”
Netflix has said it isn’t creating a native app for the Vision Pro. Plus, YouTube isn’t building a specific solution for Vision Pro users. However, you can still access YouTube through the Safari app in the Vision Pro. Just don’t expect a very “immersive” experience.”
Sources have also indicated that Spotify isn’t planning to create an app for the Vision Pro and won’t be enabling its iPad app to run on the device either. Once again, you must use a web browser to access Spotify.
However, this isn’t necessarily a problem for many Apple Vision Pro users. The massive price tag on the headset and its focus on “enterprise metaverse” experiences may mean that standard “entertainment” apps aren’t as important as productivity options.
What the Apple Vision Pro Apps Mean for Business Users
So far, the number of confirmed Apple Vision Pro apps for business users is still relatively limited. However, it does seem like Apple is focusing more on the commercial market than the consumer landscape with its spatial computing device.
Various reports suggest that Apple is already working with third-party vendors to create immersive user workplace experiences. For instance, designers can access solutions like Gravity Sketch, ShapesXR, and SculptrVR.
Apple also works with Microsoft on solutions like Teams for the Apple Vision Pro. This could come with access to solutions like Microsoft Immersive Spaces for XR-style meetings in the future.
Plus, apps will be available for tools like Cisco and Zoom for other forms of collaboration. At the same time, Apple is investing in innovative first-party apps that will benefit businesses. For instance, at the WDCC demo, the company showed how immersive FaceTime calls could replace standard Zoom calls for some meetings.
The device’s ability to connect with computers and project a vast floating screen in front of users also means there will be plenty of opportunities to access a range of other experiences. Users can use their web browser to access all the features they typically access on their desktop. Plus, since VisionOS allows users to place controls or displays on any surface, there are plenty of opportunities to create their own “immersive workspaces.”
The Future of Apple Vision Pro Apps
Compared to all the apps available for tools like the Meta Quest and Valve Index, the list of Apple Vision Pro apps available today might seem small. However, it’s worth remembering we’re only at the beginning of Apple’s spatial computing journey.
For some time now, Apple has been encouraging developers to dive into the VisionOS operating system themselves, using a Mac with Apple Silicon. Users can leverage SwiftUI to create immersive experiences in Vision OS and build app 3D content with RealityKit and Reality Composure Pro. There’s also the option to use ARKit to integrate content with in-person surroundings.
Plus, Unity offers a range of authoring tools to users who want to get involved with VisionOS. These give companies complete access to Unity’s PolySpatial technology, digital twin creation capabilities, and more.
There are also some excellent “sample apps” on the Apple VisionOS website, where you can discover the potential capabilities of the apps you might create for the system. Developers can submit their apps to the new “app store” for the Apple Vision Proin the months ahead.
Unlocking the Benefits of the Apple Vision Pro
Currently, the number of Apple Vision Pro apps available to consumers and business users is still relatively limited. However, that’s likely to change very soon. At the very least, many developers who already have apps available an Apple’s app store for the iPhone and iPad will likely want to ensure their solutions are compatible for the Vision Pro too.
After all, it’s relatively simple to enable compatibility, which will open a new potential revenue stream to a host of leading developers.
At the same time, if Apple’s headset becomes a popular new tool for businesses investing in immersive collaboration, more developers will likely want to get involved. The rising impact of XR on the commercial world is introducing new opportunities to businesses, creating productivity, collaboration, and business-focused apps.
With some luck, the new Apple Vision Pro app store will become just as robust and diverse as the Apple store you know on your iPhone by the end of 2024.