It’s been just over two weeks since Apple announced its long-anticipated Vision Pro mixed reality headset. At the time, Apple showed what the headset is capable of using demos of its own homegrown apps and apps brewed secretly by hand-picked developers (like Disney, for example). Now, Apple is ready to open the floodgates to its wider developer community ahead of the $3,499 Vision Pro’s 2024 launch with the release of the visionOS software development kit (SDK).
The visionOS SDK is now available via Xcode 15 beta 2 for registered developers, which aligns with the company’s assertion that it would launch later this month. “Apple’s global community of developers will be able to create an entirely new class of spatial computing apps that take full advantage of the infinite canvas in Vision Pro and seamlessly blend digital content with the physical world to enable extraordinary new experiences,” the company explained in a press release.
“With the visionOS SDK, developers can utilize the powerful and unique capabilities of Vision Pro and visionOS to design brand-new app experiences across a variety of categories including productivity, design, gaming, and more.”
I tested out visionOS for Apple Vision Pro! 👀 pic.twitter.com/DbBfWHSrYXJune 21, 2023
Developers can use the Reality Composer Pro within Xcode to prepare and preview new 3D models, animations and sounds for use with Vision Pro. But the biggest news comes with the Simulator, which allows developers to see how their apps will look in virtualized testing rooms. These include a living room, kitchen, and a museum. Apple will even allow you to adjust light levels for each room to see how your app would look during different times of the day.
To help prepare developers for its all-new platform, Apple will hold in-person, hands-on experiences with the Vision Pro at its labs in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. In addition, Apple says developers will have access to new authoring tools in July to port their existing Unity-engine apps and games to the Vision Pro.
For developers that want to get their feet wet with the visionOS SDK, you can download it from Apple’s Developer website. And starting next month, developers can request access to a Vision Pro hardware developer kit.