The moment Apple dropped the news about the new Vision Pro headset, I couldn't help but envision a world of endless possibilities. Peeling back the layers of technical specs and high-tech jargon, I started to mull over the potential impact on mobile app marketers like us.
Vision Pro isn't just a fancy headset; it's a gateway to a seamless blend of reality and the virtual realm. This brave new product has ditched external controls for an interface guided by your eyes, hands, and voice.
As an app marketer, Vision Pro piqued my interest. Not only will it come with its own App Store, but it'll also host hundreds of thousands of iPhone and iPad apps, setting the stage for developers and consumers alike. Another positive would be quicker app development on VisionOS, as developers can use existing tools such as Xcode, SwiftUI, RealityKit, and ARKit.
I believe Vision Pro is a technological marvel, but would it disrupt the mobile app industry - I don't think so. At least not anytime soon. I will tell you why (at the end).
But I see four areas where Vision Pro could make waves:
Productivity: Vision Pro expands our work canvas without any pesky window resizing on laptops/tablets. With 'Environments', you're fully immersed and focused on your tasks. App developers should rethink productivity on this expansive canvas, and how Vision Pro can replace the use of dual monitors, or even laptops to work on the go.
Content Streaming: Vision Pro is a personal movie theatre with dynamic spatial audio and an adjustable screen size. With Disney+ already crafting unique entertainment solutions, it's time to brainstorm innovations if you have got a streaming app.
Gaming: Vision Pro supports Apple Arcade, but more than that its three-fold input integration – hand movement, voice, and eye tracking – is a game-changer. Developers, it's time to combine these elements to create immersive gaming experiences that would be unique and exclusive to Vision Pro users.
Integration to Apple Ecosystem: Vision Pro will sync seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, and Mac. From turning a MacBook display into an augmented 4K one to supporting applications like Microsoft Office, Teams, and Zoom. For developers, a seamless, personalized cross-platform user experience would be the key to success
Out-of-the-box Opportunities: Also, Vision Pro paves the way for apps that couldn't have existed on phones or laptops. Developers, it's time to put on your creative hats and pioneer new innovative apps and games. Imagine an augmented human-like AI assistant who's always at your service.
However, despite these potential game-changers, I believe that Vision Pro won't disrupt the mobile app industry unless these issues are resolved:
Cost: With prices starting at $3499, Vision Pro is not for everyone. Hence, scaling apps on VisionOS could be challenging. MacOS has a substantial user base, even then no one talks about ASO for Mac apps, because in comparison to apps on iPhone and iPad, MacBook has a much lower number of apps and users. Remember, Vision Pro will have an even smaller user base than MacBook due to its cost, and other reasons I will talk about below.
Limitations: A visible crease in foldable phones is an irritant for users who've paid a premium price. With Vision Pro, carrying a separate wired battery and only up to a 2-hour usage time could similarly frustrate users. You may suppose, with intensive use, the headset won't work for more than 1.5 hours, and with that, you will be charging the battery again so that you could continue playing a movie, or a game, or resuming your work.
Overkill 1: This headset doesn't have over-the-ear audio drivers, meaning others will hear what you hear, and to avoid that you may need to wear Airpods. The need to wear AirPods with the Vision Pro headset and its battery could be a bit much tech to handle. How users adapt to this will be interesting to watch.
Overkill 2: Given its limited battery life, one would take out Vision Pro for specific use cases. In that scenario what would be the use of a video recording camera? Apple emphasized that the camera on this device will make capturing videos more life-like. But wouldn't it be quicker to simply take out your phone to do that in landscape orientation, rather than wearing Vision Pro?
Health Concerns: Prolonged use of AR headsets could potentially have health implications, such as eye strain or social isolation. It's worth keeping an eye on future studies in this area. More safety guidelines from Apple on this topic would also be appreciated.
The silver lining for developers, though, is the potential to command premium prices for dedicated Vision Pro apps, thanks to their exclusivity and the high purchasing power of the target user base.
That's my two cents on Vision Pro. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so hit up the comments!