According to a new report by Mark Gurman, in addition to detailing the proprietary charging cable of the external battery powering the mixed reality headset, some of the AR/VR headset’s software features have also been revealed. If the information is accurate, it is reason to be optimistic about the upcoming wearable computer. In addition to delivering new computing experiences, the gadget will be able to run iPad apps, which is exciting news.
As someone who would line up to buy the AR/VR headset, I am hopeful that I will find a good use for Apple’s latest gadget until a future version replaces the iPhone. Gurman mentions in his Power On newsletter that Apple is approaching the AR/VR headset in the same way it did with the Apple Watch. The company is throwing everything it can at the mixed reality headset and waiting for consumers to tell them what they want to do with the device, just like it did with the first-gen Apple Watch.
The main feature of the Apple Watch is health and fitness tracking, and the ability to deliver notifications is also highly praised. However, these features were not immediately obvious when Apple launched its first smartwatch nearly a decade ago.
Considering this, it’s not surprising to hear that Apple is aiming to add as many features as possible to the AR/VR headset. Mixed reality provides Apple with more flexibility than the Apple Watch, and the company seems to be taking advantage of that.
The device will be powered by an M2 processor and two 4K displays, which will enable Apple to run virtually all iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps. Additionally, there will be exclusive software developed specifically for the mixed-reality headset.
According to Gurman, the AR/VR headset will be able to run most of Apple’s iPad apps in mixed reality mode, including Books, Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV, and Weather. Furthermore, the rumored Wellness app is also said to be on the list. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of third-party apps will be available to users with little to no extra work required from developers.
In addition to these features, Apple is reportedly planning to introduce a new VR-focused Fitness+ experience that users can take advantage of while wearing the AR/VR headset. However, this feature is expected to be released after the hardware launch.
The device will also feature a portal for watching sports in virtual reality. Furthermore, users will be able to watch videos while being immersed in a virtual environment, such as a desert scene or in the sky.
With a large focus on gaming, the AR/VR headset will support top-tier titles from third-party developers for Apple’s other devices. Additionally, the device will support videoconferencing, including virtual meeting rooms and realistic avatars. Interestingly, the mixed reality headset is rumored to work as an external monitor for a connected Mac.
According to the report, users will have multiple options to operate the AR/VR headset’s software, including hand and eye tracking, Siri voice commands, a connected keyboard, or controls from a different Apple device.
While none of this is official, the versatility that Gurman describes is something I hope to see in the device. Rather than focusing solely on gaming and content consumption, I believe the device has potential to be used as a Mac monitor and for augmented reality (AR) apps on the iPad.
As I mentioned earlier, the AR/VR headset will be a significant step forward in hardware and software for Apple, paving the way for the development of wearable AR glasses that could eventually replace the iPhone.
Finally, it’s worth noting that someone who reportedly had access to the wearable during its development claimed that the latest version was mind-blowing. This adds to the excitement surrounding Apple’s AR/VR experience.