Gurman: dedicated Vision Pro apps at WWDC, no successor in sight

Gurman: dedicated Vision Pro apps at WWDC, no successor in sight
Mark Gurman, Bloomberg’s Apple insider, has revealed two new key parts of Apple Vision Pro announcements at the upcoming WWDC 2024. In his newsletter, Power On, Gurman says Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference of 2024 will see announcements for dedicated visionOS apps. He also says there’s no new Vision Pro headset “coming anytime soon”.

There have been lots of rumors flying around about a potential new headset from Apple. One report claims this new Vision Pro 2 will be less than half the cost of Apple’s current headset. Samsung might also be entering the supply chain to help drive down manufacturing costs.

That might be needed because apparently Apple has been having trouble figuring out how to make a cheaper Vision Pro. It’s a fantastic headset, as we concluded in our review of Vision Pro, but I can think of a few ways to lower the cost. The chassis, for example, is a marvel of aluminum and glass but it can be plastic too if Apple is willing to sacrifice the premium feel for a Vision Air.

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Brilliant concept but high costs and poor battery life stop it from going mainstream.

But after all these rumors Gurman now says there’s no new Vision Pro headset coming out anytime soon. We heard that Apple had slowed down Vision Pro production due to poor sales and revamped its roadmap, possibly delaying a successor.

By “anytime soon” Gurman might just mean that there won’t be any announcements for a successor at WWDC 2024. And the already delayed rumored launch date of 2025 for a second headset might still be on. Nevertheless, it seems if you were hoping for a cheaper Vision Pro to be announced at WWDC, you’re out of luck. Because Gurman says the focus will be on something else.

Dedicated apps for Vision Pro

Alongside iOS 18 — which is being touted as the biggest iOS update in ages — there have been reports of an update to visionOS. This supposed visionOS 2.0 is going to be the most significant update to Apple Vision Pro since its launch. And now we have at least some idea of what it might be.

Gurman claims visionOS 2.0 will add “missing features from the first iteration”. He says this is mostly going to be in the form of dedicated apps for the Vision Pro. Currently, some apps on the Vision Pro are simply ports of iPad versions of said apps.

Even a YouTube app is missing, making users rely on the Safari browser to watch anything on the video sharing platform. But Gurman says these dedicated apps for Vision Pro will be for Apple’s own applications, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what precisely is being introduced.

Other “missing features” could mean a myriad of things. Perhaps, and this is just me being very optimistic, we’ll see proper support for PC VR games. There might also be support for custom gestures, something many users would greatly appreciate as it will allow them to further customize their Vision Pro experience.

I am a bit bummed that there reportedly aren’t going to be any announcements for a Vision Pro 2 or a Vision Air. Hugo Barra, former Head of Oculus, called the Vision Pro an over-engineered devkit. Which means Apple could have perhaps made a simpler, cheaper headset that still delivered on all the functionality of Vision Pro.

Apple’s foray into the XR industry gave XR a much needed attention boost. And the company made one of the best AR headsets in the process. Now all we need is a cheaper version or capable alternatives to really get consumers on the XR train.
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