Apple Confirms “Nearly All” iPhone and iPad Apps Will be Available on Vision Pro
Apple has officially confirmed that the highly anticipated Vision Pro headset will be compatible with “nearly all” iPhone and iPad apps. This means that users will have access to a vast library of existing apps when the headset launches early next year.
In a note to developers, Apple stated that by default, iPad and iPhone apps will be automatically published on the App Store on Apple Vision Pro. Most frameworks available in iPadOS and iOS are included in visionOS, making it possible for nearly all iPad and iPhone apps to run on visionOS without any modifications.
For developers who want to provide an optimized experience for Vision Pro users, they have the option to build a native visionOS version of their app. They can also use Apple’s Universal Purchase cross-buy system to offer the app for free to customers who have already purchased it on their iPhone or iPad.
It’s important to note that Vision Pro will prioritize the iPad version of apps and display them in landscape orientation. However, when an iPad version is not available, the headset will fallback to a portrait orientation iPhone app.
Limitations and Features
While Vision Pro aims to offer a seamless app experience, there are some limitations in terms of certain capabilities. Apps that rely on raw accelerometer or gyroscope access, custom peripheral drivers, raw GPS, NFC, SMS, HealthKit, RoomPlan, AppClip, and MLCompute frameworks will not be listed automatically in the Vision Pro App Store.
In addition, third-party apps will not be able to access Vision Pro’s cameras. Instead, attempting to access the selfie camera will display a virtual webcam view of the user as their Persona, Apple’s realistic face-tracked avatars. Accessing the rear camera will result in a black feed with a “no camera” icon in the center.
On the other hand, certain iPhone and iPad features will be automatically adapted for visionOS. Apps that utilize TouchID or FaceID will be forwarded through Vision Pro’s eye tracking-based OpticID. Although Vision Pro doesn’t have a GPS, Apple’s Core Location API can approximate location via Wi-Fi or obtain it from a nearby iPhone.
Enhancing Apps for Vision Pro
Developers also have the opportunity to enhance their existing iPhone and iPad apps for Vision Pro without building a separate visionOS app. This includes adding custom hover effects designed for the visionOS eye tracking interaction system.
Apple claims that “hundreds of thousands” of iPhone and iPad apps will run flawlessly on Vision Pro at launch. Developers can utilize the visionOS simulator to ensure their apps work seamlessly with the headset.
Overall, the compatibility of Vision Pro with a vast array of iPhone and iPad apps will undoubtedly provide users with a substantial content library right from the start. With the ability to access familiar apps and experience optimized versions specifically designed for Vision Pro, Apple’s upcoming headset is poised to be a game-changer in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.