The Vision Pro headset marks Apple’s first new product category since the introduction of the Apple Watch, distinguishing itself from all other Apple devices. The headset operates on an entirely new operating system called visionOS, necessitating developers’ creation of specific augmented and virtual reality apps for this novel device.
To help ensure a broad range of experiences are available at launch, Apple intends to distribute Vision Pro developer kits to developers in the foreseeable future.
Apple indicated its plan to offer developer kits to assist developers in bringing their innovative ideas to life on Vision Pro. The kits will facilitate swift building, iterating, and testing on the headset. Developers can apply to receive a kit, although Apple has yet to disclose when these kits will be available.
The most recent developer kit provided by Apple was a Mac mini equipped with an Apple silicon chip in 2020. This was designed to aid developers in transitioning from Intel to Apple silicon. Apple priced the Mac mini machines at $500, but developers were required to return them at the conclusion of the testing program.
Apple is likely to require developers to purchase an Apple Vision Pro headset to develop apps for the device. However, the purchase is anticipated to include access to beta software, developer labs, discussion forums, technical support, and other resources, if the Vision Pro development kit follows the model of the Apple silicon development kit.
Alongside the Vision Pro developer kits, Apple announced its intention to offer Vision Pro compatibility evaluations for existing apps. Developers will also have opportunities to visit a Vision Pro developer lab that showcases demonstrations of visionOS, iPadOS, and iOS apps running on the headset. These labs will be available in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Further information on these tools for creating content for the Vision Pro headset will be made available in July. The visionOS SDK will be accessible later this month.