Some apps and features of Apple's AR/VR headset are revealed by reliable source

Some apps and features of Apple's AR/VR headset are revealed by reliable source
In Mark Gurman's weekly Power On newsletter, the main topic is Apple's Reality Pro AR/VR mixed reality headset. We should see some sort of preview on June 5th when WWDC 2023 kicks off. While the rumored $3,000 price tag is sure to turn off many consumers, last week there was some good news for Apple when an anonymous insider able to test the device was "blown away" by the headset after previously feeling disappointed in previous tests.

VR can put you in the cockpit of a commercial jet that you're "flying" or even in the batter's box at Yankee Stadium

According to Gurman, Apple has yet to find the must-have app that might drive sales of the headset. Instead, Apple is reusing a strategy that it first tried with the Apple Watch. Apple plans on including apps from many different categories hoping that one catches on. You should see many games to take advantage of the capabilities of the headset, some fitness apps, and Gurman mentions one app that will allow users to read books in virtual reality.

Now would be a good time to discuss the difference between VR and AR. VR, or virtual reality, allows users to step into an environment that is not real even if it feels as though it is. You could find yourself in the batter's box at Yankee Stadium about to face what looks like a 100 MPH fastball. Or  you could don the headset and become a commercial airline pilot flying a huge jet.

AR, or augmented reality, places a layer of computer-generated data on top of a real-world feed. Pokemon Go is an example of an AR game (unless you think that Pokemon are real) and Google Maps' Live View is another example. The latter is for navigating walks and uses your phone's rear camera to show you a live feed of what is in front of you while a layer of CGI arrows appear on top of the feed to show you where to go and to point out places of interest.

Apple tried the same approach with the Apple Watch. When it first launched, the timepiece wasn't as focused as it is now on health-related features. Once the heart rate monitor started alerting users that they needed to get immediate medical help, the Apple Watch became known as a health-care tool which Apple built on by adding other health-related features.

Gurman says that Apple's mixed reality headset will run most of Apple's iPad apps such as "Books, Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV, and Weather." It also will run plenty of third-party iPad apps with little modifications.

The Reality Pro will feature a VR portal for those who want to stream live sports. This would dovetail perfectly with Apple's desire to become a bigger player in live sports. As we said earlier, games will be a big focus with some titles created by third-party developers who have had success with games made for other Apple devices. Also expected is a new Wellness app with sounds and voice-overs designed to soothe users. Another feature will allow the headset to be used as an external display for a connected Mac.

The Reality Pro will reportedly support "in-air" typing

Video conferences should be interesting as the headset will use VR to create virtual meeting rooms. With realistic avatars representing those taking part in the video conference, it will look as though everyone has gathered in one room. Also business related, the Freeform app will allow users to write on and create a virtual whiteboard that others can see. Users will also use VR to watch videos in totally fabricated environments. One feature that is expected to be available after the headset is released is a VR version of Fitness+ that will help users workout while wearing the headset.

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Reality Pro users will be able to navigate by using eye and hand movement, by talking to Siri, or via a connected keyboard from another Apple device. Gurman himself said the other day that the Reality Pro will support in-air typing although he described it as being "finicky."

The Reality Pro is reportedly the most complex device Apple has ever created and at the rumored price of $3,000, this isn't a product that is going to end up in everyone's hands. Apple is supposedly working on a future version of the headset dubbed Reality One that will be more affordable although some corners will have to be cut.

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