When the Apple Vision Pro was announced at WWDC, Apple said that the “spatial computer” VR headset would be able to run iOS and iPadOS apps in addition to new visionOS apps. And they promised that these would all be available from a single App Store.
Now, it looks like Apple is following through on this initial promise. In an Apple Developer blog post (h/t The Verge), Apple announced that a new App Store is officially coming to the Vision Pro. And, as promised, it will have access to “hundreds of thousands of iPad and iPhone apps” alongside brand-new visionOS apps.
But the biggest news is that developers will now get their hands on this new App Store — and soon. According to Apple an upcoming fall developer beta for visionOS will include this “brand-new App Store.” Furthermore, all new iOS and iPad OS apps will automatically publish to this new App Store, provided they are compatible.
And Apple expects nearly every iOS and iPad app to be compatible with the Vision Pro. However, if there is something in an app preventing its compatibility with the Apple headset, App Store Connect will indicate this error so developers can provide alternative functionality or update the user interface.
Apple Vision Pro has the potential for a massive content library
Right out of the box, adding compatibility for nearly every iOS and iPad OS app gives the Apple Vision Pro a huge app library and a potential competitive advantage over other platforms like Meta Quest.
But that doesn’t mean it will have a huge library of immersive apps. In fact, some companies are skipping the immersion of visionOS altogether, including Netflix, which has said it won't have a native Apple Vision Pro app at launch.
Other companies though, seem to be embracing this new platform. In our Apple Vision Pro hands-on review, our editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer got to see firsthand how Disney’s immersive Disney Plus visionOS can be. The NBA has also hinted that NBA games could be coming to the Vision Pro as an immersive experience, and of course, there is Apple’s own streaming service — Apple TV Plus — which is shooting shows in spatial video to give viewers 180-degree video. And the best VR games should be coming to visionOS thanks to PolySpatial, which allows developers to create immersive and windowed games for the Vision Pro with relative ease.
This will be key to whether or not the Vision Pro’s massive content library drives success for Apple’s first headset. If apps and companies adopt visionOS for immersive experiences, then the Vision Pro’s combination of immersive and practical apps gives it a serious advantage over headsets like the Meta Quest 3. But if it’s just a $3,499 Mac or iPhone strapped to your face then the appeal of the first “spatial computer” could be diminished — at least at first.