Apple has now opened applications for Vision Pro developer kits, which it’s sending out to app developers in effort to kickstart its first XR-specific App Store.
Vision Pro is set to launch sometime in early 2024, coming part and parcel with a load of first-party apps originally developed for iPad. This includes basic things like Safari, Photos, Music, Messages, and even an avatar support for Facetime.
Apple has been fairly mum on its list of third-party apps, listing only a few during its WWDC unveiling in June, including Word, Excel, Teams, Disney+, Zoom, WebEX, and Rec Room, its only VR game to be featured during the keynote.
Apple is couching the headset as a general computing device capable of doing most of what a laptop can do, however the $3,500 prosumer headset will need a lot more than a smattering of compatible 2D apps if it wants its first XR device to set the stage for generations of cheaper follow-ups, which will likely be aimed more squarely at regular consumers.
And while the headset emulator and software development tools have been out for a few weeks now, the Cupertino tech giant says developers looking to start creating apps with actual Vision Pro hardware can apply now.
Apple says the dev kit also includes help setting up the device and onboarding, check-ins with Apple experts for UI design and development guidance, and two additional code-level support requests so Apple can help troubleshoot issues.
Like with many hardware developer kits, there are some fairly stringent (if not entirely standard) caveats. The Vision Pro dev kit needs to be returned upon request, and also has to be stored in a private, secure workspace that unauthorized persons don’t have access to view, handle, or use. The dev kit also needs to be passcode protected and never left unattended, or removed from its home address without Apple’s prior written consent.
Again, that’s all pretty standard stuff so developers don’t lose, leak, or strip the headset down to its component parts for the glee of XR publications everywhere. We’ll likely be waiting for that last bit when it finally launches sometime in early 2024.