Apple made an official announcement this week, stating that the visionOS App Store will be available in a developer beta release this coming fall. The forthcoming App Store will feature applications and games specifically built for the platform, and will extend its compatibility to include iPhone and iPad apps that can run on the Vision Pro headset.
In visionOS, most frameworks from iOS and iPadOS are inherently integrated, meaning that iPhone and iPad applications will automatically be published on the new App Store. Should an app require a specific feature not present in the Vision Pro headset, the developer will be notified via App Store Connect, indicating that the app is incompatible without certain updates.
To facilitate this process, developers can utilize the visionOS simulator in the upcoming Xcode 15 beta to test their apps’ functionalities. Additional evaluations for compatibility can be carried out either through automated tools or in Apple’s developer labs.
Apple’s announcement post details that almost all existing iPhone and iPad applications will be operable on the headset without the need for specialized adjustments. For developers interested in creating an experience uniquely tailored for the new platform, Apple’s visionOS Software Development Kit (SDK) offers the necessary tools. Apps developed using the SDK will feature the standard spatial appearance and can include 3D content optimized for eye and hand interactions.
This development is poised to make significant impacts for both developers and consumers. For developers, the visionOS App Store will provide a unified platform, broadening their audience reach and eliminating the requirement for additional steps to make apps compatible with the headset. For consumers, the platform promises a richer array of app choices, enhancing the user experience and simplifying the process of app discovery and accessibility.
While the visionOS App Store signifies a leap in convenience and user-friendliness, it is worth re-emphasising that not all iPhone and iPad apps will be fully compatible.
Consumers are advised to verify the compatibility of their preferred apps before making any purchases to ensure a seamless user experience.