After announcing the Apple Vision Pro in June, Apple started sending testing units for developers to build their own apps on this platform. As this spatial computer is expected to land in early 2024, Apple has also created Vision Pro labs to help developers understand how this device works and the different tools they can use to make their own apps.
These labs debuted in early August and have hosted developers and designers in London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Cupertino. Now, on its developer page, Apple is highlighting some of their first impressions after trying the Vision Pro.
The CEO of Flexbitis, Michael Simmons, was one of the people who tried the Apple Vision Pro in one of these labs. He’s the creator of Fantastical, one of the best calendar solutions available for Apple’s platform. He said: “It was like seeing Fantastical for the first time. It felt like I was part of the app.”
Simmons believes he can push the software beyond its current bounds. “A bordered screen can be limiting. Sure, you can scroll or have multiple monitors, but generally speaking, you’re limited to the edges,” he says. “Experiencing spatial computing not only validated the designs we’d been thinking about — it helped us start thinking not just about left to right or up and down, but beyond borders at all.”
David Smith, the creator of Widgetsmith, has also been building a version of his app for Apple Vision Pro. Although he had been using the visionOS simulator, he was impressed when trying this device for real. “I’d been staring at this thing in the simulator for weeks and getting a general sense of how it works, but that was in a box,” Smith says. “The first time you see your own app running for real, that’s when you get the audible gasp.”
The principal design technologist at Slack, Chris Delbuck, also tested Vision Pro in one of these sessions. While developers can choose to use the same structure of iPadOS apps on this spatial computer, Delbuck now wants to go further. “It instantly got me thinking about how 3D offerings and visuals could come forward in our experiences,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that without having the device in hand.”
Overall, developers think these sessions help them develop better apps. While other Apple platforms are already well-succeded with several hardware already available, it’s the first time since the Apple Watch that people can create something new on a unique platform.
BGR will keep following what developers create for the Apple Vision Pro as we learn more about them.