Apple Vision Pro to launch with over 600 apps and games optimized for the new headset | TechCrunch
The pace is picking up for the Apple Vison Pro apps ahead of the spatial computing device’s Friday launch as developers ready their apps for the new platform. While just last week, only 150-plus apps had been specifically designed for the Vision Pro so far, according to a third-party analysis of the App Store, Apple announced today that more than 600 new apps and games are being readied for the Vison Pro ahead of its debut. These join the more than 1 million already compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, the company says.
The news comes on the heels of Apple’s proposed compliance plan with the EU’s new regulation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which forces Apple to level the playing field by opening up to alternative app stores and payments. But Apple’s compliance plan favors Apple, not the spirit of the law. As a result, critics including Spotify, Epic Games, and Microsoft dubbed it a “farce” full of “junk fees,” and a “step in the wrong direction,” respectively. Because of this, there was growing concern that Apple’s anti-developer stance with regard to the DMA could lead to lessened developer interest in building apps for its newest computing platform, the AR/VR headset. Already, major companies like Netflix and YouTube have said they don’t plan on supporting the device at launch.
Apple today is hoping to put those concerns to rest with its announcement that the Vision Pro will have a sizable app catalog, despite the device’s high price, which limits its reach, and the current lack of developer goodwill Apple has shown.
The company says over 600 apps and games have been designed to take advantage of the Vision Pro’s capabilities and its 3D user interface that’s navigated using your eyes, hands, and voice.
Several streaming apps have already announced their support, including Disney+, ESPN, MLB, PGA Tour, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, Red Bull TV, IMAX, TikTok and MUBI.
The PGA Tour Vision app offers a golf game with real-time shot tracking across models of real golf courses, while the NBA app will allow streaming up to 5 broadcasts live or on-demand at once, Apple notes. Red Bull TV will include 3D maps of races. Soccer fans will also be able to stream MLS Season Pass via Apple’s own Apple TV app. That app will offer access to Apple’s Originals, over 200 3D movies, and Apple Immersive Video.
Cable companies are also on board with apps from Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, Cox Contour, Sling TV, and Verizon Fios. Other sports broadcasters are joining, as well, including CBS, NBC, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and the UFC, in addition to ESPN, Paramount+, Peacock, and others.
In its announcement, Apple highlighted productivity apps for the Vision Pro, like brainstorming app MindNote, data and project management apps OmniFocus and OmniPlan, Microsoft 365 apps, calendar app Fantastical, Box, Numerics, JigSpace, Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Team, Slack, Notion, Todoit, and Navi, which translates conversations in real-time.
Hoping to dispel worries over Vision Pro’s lack of games, especially compared with more accessibly priced headsets like Meta’s Quest VR devices, Apple noted that the device will feature titles like BA 2K24 Arcade Edition, Sonic Dream Team, TMNT Splintered Fate, and others. It will additionally offer a catalog of more than 250 games, with no in-app purchases or ads via Apple Arcade, including Synth Riders, LEGO Builder’s Journey, Super Fruit Ninja, Game Room, WHAT THE GOLF?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Bloons TD 6+, stitch., Patterned, Illustrated, and Wylde Flowers.
Other apps are also launching on Vision Pro’s App Store, including an app featuring relaxing 3D dioramas from Loóna, spatial puzzles in Blackbox, and the skateboarding app Skatrick Pro. Users can also access Mac App Store games and apps like Steam via Mac Virtual Display, like Lies of P and Baldur’s Gate 3.
Apple highlighted other titles, new and old, including Hold the World, which transports users to London’s Natural History Museum; The Archive, which lets Star Trek fans and others explore immersive locations and media; air traffic control experience ForeFlight; 3D weather app CARROT Weather; 3D learning apps solAR; solar system explorers Sky Guide and Night Sky; medical apps Insight Heart, CellWalk, Complete HeartX; mindfulness and wellness apps Lungy: Spaces, Odio, and Endel; and music apps djay, NowPlaying, STAGE+, Spool, Animoog Galaxy, AmazeVR Concerts, tappr.tv, and Apple Music.
Shopping apps include J.Crew Virtual Closet and Mytheresa: Luxury Experience, which includes live consultations, as well as Lowe’s Style Studio, Wayfair Decorify, and home-buying app Zillow, which will feature virtual home tours.
It seems many developers are waiting until the last minute to ship their apps to the App Store, as app intelligence firm Appfigures’ ongoing count sees only 350+ apps available as of today.