Those diving into Apple’s new mixed reality headset might be missing a few of their favorite apps as they navigate the Cupertino company’s new “spatial” environment. Pre-orders for the Vision Pro go live Friday, but if you’re considering dropping $3,500 on this big-budget headset, you should know what kinds of virtual experiences will be available and won’t be clamoring for your virtual time. A few big-name apps are not coming to the Vision Pro, and there are a few surprises that will.
Some of the most popular apps on Apple’s App Store, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, won’t have a Vision-specific version on release. Apple had previously said developers would have to opt out of having their iOS and iPadOS apps ported straight to the headset; these companies essentially declared there wouldn’t be any version of their apps available to start. Bloomberg first reported that the streaming apps are instead suggesting users log on through Safari to view their favorite content.
Apple Music will be there, of course, but that’s not much help for folks who want to listen to their Spotify playlists directly through the Vision Pro’s built-in speakers, and they sure as hell won’t use the company’s so-called “Spatial Audio” features.
Expect AppleTV to be front and center, especially as the company pushes its new “Immersive Video” format. Of course, Apple needs to lead the pack in available apps. For sure, we’ll see some already demoed, such as Safari and Apple Keynote, but the company also confirmed There’s a bevy of apps with Vision-specific versions that will make their way to Apple’s headset at launch. These include the likes of TikTok.
The current slate of apps available for the Vision Pro seems sparse, at least to start. While the iPhone still gets the credit for creating the whole smartphone revolution, the App Store really cemented its use case as all the world’s central on-person computer. Beyond how well the Vision Pro’s eye and hand tracking works, or even how comfortable it is, how many apps it has available will likely be key to whether Apple’s big VR gamble is a success. Though with pre-orders already having pushed online expected shipping dates back to March, maybe all Apple has to do is sit back on its laurels.
Which Streaming Apps are Coming to the Vision Pro?
That’s not to say there are not several apps clamoring for your time with an Apple headset donned. There’s Apple TV, of course, where the company is set to offer a few “spatial” 3D experiences, which honestly seem more like small gimmicks than true lasting experiences.
We’ve long known that Disney+ will be available, but while there’s no explicit Hulu app incoming, you’ll still be able to watch Bob’s Burgers so long as you have it bundled with your Disney+ subscription. Disney will offer several “environments” for Vision Pro users to watch their content, including Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder from Star Wars: A New Hope, Avenger’s Tower from the MCU, and the scare floor from Monsters Inc.
Apple is promoting access to more than 150 3D movies, including recent ones like Dune and Avatar: The Way of Water. Amazon Prime, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Discovery+ and Max apps will also appear. Several sports channels are also coming to Vision Pro, including ESPN, NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour.
The full gamut of 3rd-party streaming apps includes:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Pluto TV
What Games Will Be Available on Vision Pro?
Despite the paradigm created by the Meta Quest, the Vision Pro isn’t explicitly a gaming platform. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few titles coming to the Pro, but it does seem like thin pickings to start.
Apple Arcade is first to the fore, though we have yet to see how any of the existing 250 games on the company’s main gaming platform work via headset. The Vision Pro only uses hand-tracking gesture controls, and with no controller options, a fair few VR games will struggle to work on Apple’s headset. A few other developers have confirmed they ported their titles to the Vision Pro, but if you’re not a big fan of Fruit Ninja, you may be disappointed with what’s in store.
The Vision Pro can also connect wirelessly with Macs, so the relatively few titles that are available through the Mac ecosystem should also work on the Vision Pro, though only with a faux-desktop setup.
The Vision Pro will also be compatible with the Xbox controller and PlayStation DualSense. There’s always the chance Microsoft might allow Game Pass cloud gaming on the Vision Pro as they did with the Meta Quest, but for now, we’ll have to make do, like a sad child asked to play stickball in the backyard by themselves.
The games confirmed for the Vision Pro include:
- What the Golf?
- Super Fruit Ninja
- NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition
- Candy Crush Saga
- Rec Room
What Social and Work Apps Can I Expect on the Vision Pro?
Companies still want to push VR as a workspace environment for some reason. 9to5Mac helped by creating a running tally of all the work apps available for the Vision Pro, and they include the likes of Microsoft 365 and Slack, so no matter what, you won’t be able to escape your boss even if you hide in the closet with your headset on. In addition, you’ll be able to use FaceTime in your headset with the “Personas” virtual avatars.
What’s confirmed so far include:
- Microsoft 365
- Fantastical Calendar
- Cisco Webex
- Microsoft Teams