TECH

Apple Vision Pro Early Review: A Look into the Future of Computing

Apple Vision Pro Review

Apple Vision Pro

4.0/5

New computing paradigms don't come along often, and until now most have been passing fads, Apple Vision Pro may stand the test of time as a new way to experience software.

Let's get this out of the way – Apple Vision Pro is expensive and clearly not for everyone. I'm not going to tell you that Apple Vision Pro will change your life and that everyone should buy it.

I will say that Apple's Vision Pro today looks like a preview of what the future will be like, even if it takes a decade to get there.

Weight, comfort and usefulness of a product are very subjective. I'm used to using a moderately heavy headset with the PSVR 2, so newbies might find the Apple Vision Pro quite heavy or uncomfortable.

The initial launch of the new platform went smoothly, but VisionOS will not be considered complete until more applications are added to the platform. This is a review based on the early days of the product and will serve as a marker for measuring future progress.

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AppleInsider is filled with many different points of view. Of the entire batch, mine is the more optimistic. This is also not the only view that will be presented when discussing Apple Vision Pro. Expect updates, opinions, and new reviews from different perspectives now, and more in the future as milestones are reached.

There's a lot of discussion needed here that something like the iPhone doesn't need. We all know what an iPhone is and have used or at least seen one, but that's not the case with the Apple Vision Pro.

You may or may not need all this. So here's a table of contents to quickly jump to what you want to see.

  • Design and installation
  • Display and image quality
  • M2 and R1 processors
  • Accessories
  • Settings
  • visionOS
  • Entertainment
  • Work
  • Games
  • Native apps
  • Spatial video
  • What's Missing
  • The Future
  • The Beginning of Spatial Computing
  • How to Buy Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro is Apple's first spatial computing device product. While this is amazing technology and design, it is still limited by physics and current component availability. I am confident that Apple Vision Pro is the best version it can be in February 2024 and its potential as a platform is limitless.

Let's figure it out.

Apple Vision Pro review — Design and usability

We've all seen the Apple Vision Pro in the broadest sense before its release. At first glance, it resembles a fashionable set of ski goggles.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Apple's design language is everywhere

Apple wants Apple Vision Pro to fade into the background, but it's still unmistakably an Apple product . The glass and aluminum body is reminiscent of the Apple Watch, especially thanks to the fluoroelastomer bands that attach to the audio modules and charger.

The entire front of the headset is a plane of laminated glass that serves as the optical surface for the cameras and sensors. The EyeSight feature uses a programmed 3D view of the user called Persona to show the user's eyes on the outer glass, but only when another person is looking at them.

Apple Vision Pro review – Ventilation holes keep the headset cool

Ventilation holes are cut into the top and bottom of the aluminum body. The digital crown and top button are located at the top right and left of the frame, respectively.

Attached to the headset is a lightweight seal and pad that fits snugly over the user's eyes. The set includes two headbands that give users the choice of fit and comfort.

During testing, I found that I liked the Solo Knit Band the best. Many people say that the Solo strap puts too much weight on the user's face and makes it useless for long-term use, but I had the opposite experience.

Apple Vision Pro Review: Solo Knit Band Looks Great, But It's Not for Everyone

The Dual Loop Band puts too much pressure on the point around my head to I felt completely comfortable. No matter how I adjusted the tightness of the bands, it never seemed right, so I switched back to the Solo Knit Band.

The fit and comfort of the Apple Vision Pro and its various bands varies from person to person, so keep that in mind.

With the Solo Knit Band positioned just below the top of my head, I feel like the weight is well distributed across my cheeks, brows, and scalp. Sometimes I feel the need to adjust the tightness of the strap or move the headset, but other than that it fits fine.

Apple Vision Pro review: easily change straps by pulling the orange tabs

The device is powered by a battery located outside the headset. It easily lasts 2 hours on a single charge and can be charged and continuously powered via USB-C.

If weight is a problem now, it would be insurmountable if the battery were mounted somewhere on the user's head. Weight reduction is the primary purpose of an external battery pack, but it serves another purpose as well.

When an iPhone ages, one of the first things to go is the battery. With Apple Vision Pro, users only need to buy a new battery for US$200, without having to go to the Apple Store.

It's also easy enough to run the cable through a sweatshirt or shirt so it doesn't get in the way. The battery fits in your jeans or jacket pocket, and connecting to a power source is easy since the USB-C port faces the same direction as the cable.

Review of Apple Vision Pro – proprietary connector for the battery cable

The Apple Vision Pro weighs between 21.2 and 22.9 ounces, depending on paired accessories. The battery pack weighs 12.45 ounces.

If you've been following the Apple Vision Pro news, you've heard comments about what it's like to wear the device. The main focus was on weight, despite the product being right in the middle of the VR headset weight range.

From the point of view of comfort and weight, the Apple Vision Pro suits me quite well. It was no more tiring to carry than the PSVR 2, which weighs 19.8 ounces without a cable attached.

Apple Vision Pro Review – PSVR 2 is close in weight to Apple Vision Pro, but much larger

As with any computer, when using Apple Vision Pro It is recommended to take breaks. I don't use the device for longer than the length of a movie or a couple of hours at a time before taking the headset off, but I do use it throughout my eight-hour work shift.

Excessive use of Apple Vision Pro can lead to problems, as with other headsets. Your eyes will get tired, your skin will be a little sore, and your senses will be overloaded if you keep the device on for too long — for me it's about three hours of constant use.

Even though it's strapped to your face, it doesn't feel as personal as the Apple Watch. I hope that third-party accessories will help breathe life into Apple's sterile and safe design.

Apple Vision Pro review — Display and Image Clarity

The design of the Apple Vision Pro is almost a moot point for the user since you can't see it when you're wearing it. All VisionOS features are implemented on two postage stamp displays located inside the headset.

Apple Vision Pro review – a look at the world through wearable displays

There is one display per eye with a resolution of approximately 3380 pixels per inch. The breakdown shows that Apple's claim of “the equivalent of a 4K TV by eye” isn't entirely true, but it's close to 3,660 by 3,200 pixels.

The micro-OLED display emits light from a diode, resulting in almost infinite contrast and perfect blacks. They support 92% P3, which is slightly less than Apple's usual spectrum support, but only artists will notice.

The display refreshes at 90Hz, 96Hz and 100Hz depending on the settings and needs of the application. Video playback can occur at a variable frame rate of 30 or 24 frames per second to prevent judder during video playback.

Apple Vision Pro Review – External Cameras Capture the World in 3D

External cameras and sensors work with the R1 processor to recreate the user's space in 3D inside displays. Sometimes it feels like you're not wearing a headset and looking at tiny displays, but the illusion is ruined if the room is too dark — the darker the room, the more noise.

If you've ever used a virtual reality headset, you've encountered what's called the “screen door effect.” This is because the resolution of displays is not high enough to completely eliminate visible pixels, especially when the retina is very close to the display.

Apple Vision Pro adheres to the principle of sufficient pixel density to eliminate this effect. The pixel density is so high that UI elements, text, and windows look as crisp as on an iPhone.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Viewing Photos on a High-Pixel-Density Display

Compared to my experience with the PlayStation VR 2, it's night and day. It's like watching on a 480i CRT and then watching on a 4K TV at the same time.

There are limitations to pass-through because you are looking at the world through cameras. However, the ability to clearly see the space around you is a game changer for wearable headsets.

No matter how bright the room is, the view on the display will always differ from the real thing. Displays fed from the camera cannot display the image with enough contrast, brightness, or saturation to truly represent what it looks like outside of the headset.

Apple Vision Pro review – you can use the iPhone, but visibility is low

The view when wearing the Vision Pro is impressive, but you will always understand how much brighter it becomes space when you shoot it.

My dim, wood-paneled office feels a little dirty due to the low light levels, so I spend a lot of time using immersive environments while working. The office has always been too dark, so perhaps it's time to rethink ambient lighting.

Plus, you're still looking at displays that don't fill the inside of the headset, meaning no peripheral vision and black space at the edges of your view. This is a limitation of the technology, and no headset today can reproduce full peripheral vision.

Our brain is really good at concentrating on something and forgetting when something strange comes into our field of vision. Remember, your nose is always visible, but your brain actively makes you forget about its existence until you find out about it.

Apple Vision Pro Review – These displays are surrounded by fabric, so the field of view is not 180 degrees.

This is my experience with the black frame around the display. Additionally, if you actively try to look too far to the left or right, you will “see” a separation in the displays where your nose is, like a kind of double vision.

No matter how good the pass-through image is, no matter how great the contrast, light passing through mirrors and glass will still cause artifacts and distortion. If you're in a dark, immersive view with white content in a window, that content will create light reflections on the lenses.

There are other visual oddities that are not unique to the Apple Vision Pro. Image blur, color fringing and other effects are not unique to this product and cannot be completely eliminated with current technology.

With all that said, I'm quite impressed with what Apple has achieved with its display and end-to-end capture system. Nothing else comes close.

Apple Vision Pro review — M2 and R1

Apple has made ordering the Apple Vision Pro easier with a single set of chips available for it. It has M2 for processing and R1 for controlling cameras and sensors.

Review of Apple Vision Pro – M2 and R1

I chose the 1TB option to ensure there would be no questions about storage space throughout the life of the product. It starts at 256GB and there is also a 512GB option.

M2 is equipped with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and 16-core neural processor. It also has 16 GB of RAM — so this is essentially a Mac mini configuration.

R1 is capable of processing camera frames and sensor inputs with a delay of 12 milliseconds. It takes about 100 milliseconds to blink, so I'm sure latency will never be an issue for biological reasons.

Apple Vision Pro review: 12 millisecond latency ensures the user doesn't get disoriented.

Computing power shouldn't be an issue for Apple Vision Pro, at least not any time soon. As VisionOS developers port apps to the iPad or create their own apps, there's little danger that the M2 will become the ceiling for most apps in the near future.

If Apple allowed Apple Vision Pro to run Mac applications, it would be a much more complex and unpredictable computing environment. However, since the Mac can be used in a virtual space, it seems that there should be no problem with the M2.

None of the apps I tested taxed M2. This is not some mysterious chipset — it is a known entity used in Mac and iPad Pro.

Apple Vision Pro review – 600 native applications launched in the App Store

The new operating system is not without bugs. Crashes do happen, especially for unoptimized iPad apps, but that's sure to change as more apps go native and VisionOS is updated.

Rumor has it that Apple won't release the Apple Vision Pro 2 or the Apple Vision without a Pro version until around 2026. That's a long time to have just an M2 processor, but I doubt it will be a problem for the platform.

I, for example, have been working on my iPad Pro M1 since I bought it in 2021, and it hasn't even started to break a sweat with modern apps. I expect the Apple Vision Pro to have similar durability.

Other specifications

Completing some of the specs not yet covered, we note two important specifications: high-definition main cameras and six security cameras facing the outside world. The camera system captures 18mm f/2.00 images or 6.5 stereo megapixel video.

Apple Vision Pro review: spatial audio is played from audio modules

There is a TrueDepth camera, a LiDAR scanner, a flicker sensor and an ambient light sensor. There are four inertial measurement units.

Optic ID is the biometric ID of Apple Vision Pro. It scans the user's iris for access to secure systems such as passwords or purchases.

Audio modules reproduce spatial audio based on room scan data. For calls, there is an array of six directional beamforming microphones.

Apple Vision Pro review: External battery takes some of the weight off your head

Apple Vision Pro uses Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3. An ultra-low latency direct H2-H2 connection is used for AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C (compare AirPods prices).

The battery capacity is 3166 mAh at 35.9 Wh. This means that adding an additional 10,000mAh battery should extend battery life to around 12 hours.

Accessories

At launch, there are few accessories for the Apple Vision Pro. Apple sells incredibly expensive custom-made accessories, and Amazon sells some generic cases from brands that have too many adjacent consonants in their names, but nothing else.

Apple Vision Pro Review: Lots of Accessories Included

Apple Includes Light Seal, Earpad, Solo Loop Band, Dual Loop Band, Battery, Case Included, USB-C Cable, Charger 30 W and polishing cloth. The carrying case can be purchased separately from Apple for $199, which I'll cover separately.

Anyone who needed glasses or readers had to order inserts when placing a pre-order. I received a pair of Zeiss optical inserts, which were delivered separately from the headset directly to my address.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Optical Inserts Attach Magnetically

Unfortunately, the lenses did not arrive in time for me to travel with me to Nashville to pick up Apple Vision Pro, but that wasn't a problem. My vision was good enough to last me until I returned home, but the inserts made a huge difference.

It was also possible to purchase spare flashlight seals, straps and batteries. However, I expect third-party accessory makers to offer much smarter options.

Apple Vision Pro review — Features

Now that we've discussed the hardware in detail, it's time to dive deeper into using the Apple Vision Pro software. It runs a custom VisionOS operating system that uses 3D elements in application windows, interactive objects or room-filling spaces.

Setup

Setting up your Apple Vision Pro for the first time can be a little challenging. You're trying to put a device on your head without knowing how to wear it, and you're trying to get it to calibrate.

Apple Vision Pro review – initial setup starts with iPhone

My experience with the in-store demo helped prepare me for what to expect and how to choose the right Vision Pro. After a couple of calibration steps, you will begin the login process.

As with any new Apple product, you'll need to sign in with your Apple ID. Entering the password is by far the most difficult part of setup, and one that I hope no one has to deal with more than once.

I don't remember my Apple ID password. So, I needed to open Passwords on my iPhone and view the password on the screen while typing it using the floating keyboard inside the headset.

Apple Vision Pro review. Personas are as strange as they say

After logging in and setting some parameters, you are greeted by the main View page. I went and paired the physical keyboard and the Magic Trackpad at the first opportunity.

You have the option to customize your Persona during initial setup, but mine looked pretty weird: there was a horn of hair sticking out from the left side of my head. I recommend starting to set up Persona before the message to remove your headset appears, and then spend a little time fixing your hair before setting up Persona.

visionOS

The first thing you see after installation is the home view. There is no home screen like on the iPhone or iPad — think of it more like Launcher on Mac.

Apple Vision Pro review – Home View

Starting with VisionOS 1.0.2, Home View cannot be organized. It first shows a group of Apple apps and then arranges the rest alphabetically. Compatible non-native iPhone and iPad apps are in the folder, also in alphabetical order.

Some apps and features are not available on VisionOS, at least not yet. There's no Contacts app, for example, although contact information can be managed to some extent in Messages.

Native apps will have a glossy transparent window with floating UI elements. Non-native apps will look just like their iPad equivalent, with minimal customization options and a spin button.

Apple Vision Pro Review: Turn your Mac desktop into VisionOS

Other than that, VisionOS is another Apple platform with many of the same user interface elements and functions. If you've used an iPad, you'll probably feel right at home with VisionOS.

The on-screen keyboard is terrible. Connecting an external keyboard and mouse greatly simplifies control. Using the trackpad is easy because the cursor appears in any window you're looking at. There is no mouse support at launch, and we don't think it will be available anytime soon.

The peek-and-zoom method of operation is mostly reliable, although tracking can sometimes be confusing, especially in low light. Having a trackpad eliminates this limitation, especially in iPad apps with a small user interface.

The lack of a desktop or home screen is the main difference between VisionOS and iOS or iPadOS. There's no way to quickly switch between apps like you can with Stages in Stage Manager or Spaces on a Mac.

Apple Vision Pro Review – You've Yet to Reach That Digital Crown

Instead, users need to learn how to take advantage of the Infinity Canvas. Open only the apps you need and place them anywhere in 360 degrees for easy access.

Immersive effects resemble wallpaper. Walking halfway into Mount Hood will make you feel like your workspace is just a window in your office.

I was working with Drafts and Safari at the table in front of me. If I get up and walk around the office, I can check various social media apps and news feeds while my MacBook Pro desktop floats above another desk.

It's like spreading MacOS Spaces across physical reality.

Entertainment

If I had to pick a killer app for the Apple Vision Pro, it would be the range of entertainment options available. Think of this device as the best home theater system in your home, and the price tag gets easier.

Apple Vision Pro review: 3D images can take over your living room

For comparison: Sonos 5.1-channel system connected to a 65-inch 4K OLED monitor -a TV costs at least about $4,000. However, the Vision Pro can't be viewed by your entire family, so it's still a serious investment.

Several types of entertainment are available for Apple Vision Pro. You can watch immersive 8K videos, 4K 3D movies, or standard 2D videos.

The games have a similar set of options. They can either use the space as an immersive VR game, show a 3D app window with interactive spatial elements, or act as a simple 2D window as if displayed on an iPad display.

Apple Vision Pro review: Apple TV's immersive content is incredible

Immersive 8K video is my favorite at the moment, although I see potential in storytelling. that interactive applications offer. Dinosaur Encounter is an app, but it's really more like an interactive short film that brings dinosaurs into your living room.

I'm interested to see what content producers and apps do with the new spatial platform. Classic entertainment features work great in Vision Pro, and the dedicated 3D apps and capabilities are truly revolutionary.

Work

The Apple Vision Pro is a computer, and many of us use computers for work. So here's the iPad again as people ask if they can run Apple's Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro review – working with VisionOS is not only possible, this review was written here

The answer has not changed, despite the fact that this is a new platform — it depends.

If you could already get your work done on an iPad like I did, then you can certainly get your work done on the Apple Vision Pro. However, not everything will translate one to one.

If you are a Mac user and want to work with Apple Vision Pro, the good news is that you can bring your Mac window to VisionOS. There are some limitations, but this option allows you to use Mac applications when using Apple Vision Pro.

An issue I encountered while writing this review and doing general work for AppleInsider is app accessibility. In an ideal world, if every app on my iPad Pro was available on VisionOS from day one, my workflows could be replicated on Apple Vision Pro with a few tweaks.

This is not true.

Apple Vision Pro review. Many apps are missing, and most of them are simply ports of the iPad

Many app developers have not only decided not to port apps to the Apple Vision Pro, but are also preventing the iPad version from running on the headset until they can fix errors and other problems. So while not everything is available today, in theory most of these workflows could be replicated at some point once more applications are published.

At the time of publishing this review, I can perform most of my daily tasks while wearing the Apple Vision Pro, without the help of a Mac. Some tasks will require me to take off the headset and switch to the iPad, such as managing social media and creating posts.

Some workflows will have to be rethought for the new platform, where there is no division of space into stages and the like. Incorporating the Mac into my work processes and downloading the necessary iPad apps onto that computer might work, but it will take some trial and error as it goes through some real-world testing during my work shift.

As with the iPad, I expect Apple's Vision Pro to be a mostly workable solution that will get better over time with updates and apps. This is just the beginning and most of my workflow has already been covered.

Gaming on Apple Vision Pro

I already mentioned gaming in the entertainment section, but I want to go into more detail.

Apple Vision Pro review – gaming on the TV with the headset on is possible, but not ideal

Wearing an Apple Vision Pro and using pass-through to view the TV screen and playing video games is possible, but not a very pleasant experience. Latency isn't an issue, you can see the image and react to what's happening in the game without any problem, but it lacks resolution, richness, and fidelity since it's screen-based video.

Instead, I recommend using streaming apps in VisionOS, such as MirrorPlay, so that the PlayStation 5 appears as an application window. Further discussion of Apple Vision Pro options is beyond the scope of this review, but we'll cover them very soon.

There are other options, such as using a combination of an HDMI streaming peripheral and an app, but I haven't tested that yet.

Otherwise, games on VisionOS are similar to games on the iPad. You can use the system controls to view and pinch if the game allows it, or connect a controller via Bluetooth.

Apple Vision Pro review – not being able to see the controller is a bit confusing.

Games created for VisionOS and providing immersive experiences are a completely new experience, or as it is known outside of Apple Park, VR games. The difference between immersive gaming on VisionOS and gaming on PSVR 2 is the lack of a physical controller required.

For example, in Synth Riders, players hit notes with their hands to score points. Since you're not holding the controller, there's no haptic feedback, which is very noticeable if you're used to games like Beat Saber.

I hope that in the future Apple will allow third party accessory manufacturers to create compatible VR controllers with haptic motors. This feedback is critical territory for exciting games.

The history of Apple's own Vision Pro application

Only a lucky few were able to try out Apple Vision Pro before its launch, and even fewer were able to receive development kits. Thus, by the time Apple Vision Pro launched, most of the developer community had never seen their app run on hardware.

Apple Vision Pro Review: There are very few native apps at the moment

Developers can create native apps using the simulator on their Mac before the hardware was available and could travel to specific cities around the world to seek help from Apple. Beyond that, developers have probably given up on creating their own app to run the hardware.

If a developer had an iPad app, they could allow it to run on VisionOS without any changes without giving up. Many developers chose to give up because there was no way to know whether the application would run correctly on the hardware without testing.

In the weeks leading up to the launch of Apple Vision Pro, the number of native apps available on the App Store increased from a couple hundred to 600 at launch. This number will grow and accelerate in the coming weeks.

However, this review is written without the widespread availability of native applications. Even the lack of compatible iPad apps is notable.

Apple Vision Pro review – Even Apple is missing many of its own apps

There is little Apple can do to fix this situation short of sending tens of thousands of developers world headset until launch day. This is not a criticism of Apple Vision Pro — this is just an observation about the logistics of launching a new platform.

Those thinking about purchasing the Apple Vision Pro in the first six months of its release should be aware of the lack of native apps, which is why I'm covering it here.

So, while this is a limitation at launch, it will become less of a limitation over time. Keep visiting AppleInsider for more app coverage as new native apps launch.

Apple Vision Pro review — Spatial Video

Apple Vision Pro has a top button that really should be renamed the “Capture Button.” It's almost entirely dedicated to launching the spatial camera and controlling the shutter.

Apple Vision Pro review: top button opens camera interface

Spatial photos captured with Apple Vision Pro cameras are interesting, if not downright impressive. This is likely the part of Apple's Vision Pro hardware that will age the most as new versions are released with improved capture capabilities.

Recording video with Apple Vision Pro is as inconvenient as you'd expect. Pets don't like it when your eyes are closed, so they tend to run away. For kids, there is a certain age limit when the typeface goes from scary to interesting, but I haven't quite figured out where that line is yet.

If you walk into a room with Vision Pro turned on to record, expect the video to consist of a group of people pointing at you and asking what you're doing.

Spatial videos captured with stock cameras have much more impressive depth than what can be captured on the iPhone 15 Pro. However, this depth is a trade-off for quality.

Capturing events, concerts, and loved ones with spatial video on iPhone is ideal, even if the depth isn't as impressive. It still feels more immersive than 2D video, although those 1080p, 30Hz files don't age well either.

People who have a library of photographs from twenty years ago are now experiencing this effect. The images from the early to mid '00s are very clearly shot on old digital cameras or early iPhones, with all that that implies, compared to more modern equipment. As technology advances, the situation will not be much different.

Apple Vision Pro Review — What's missing

Apple Vision Pro and VisionOS are new even for Apple. Although the company had more flexibility to work on the platform than external developers, time and resources were enemies.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Focus Modes Miss Focus Filters

Many of the apps you'll find installed by default on the iPhone aren't in VisionOS. Of those available, only a few are native apps.

It's inevitable that apps like Pages and Podcasts will get native Apple Vision Pro apps, but the question is when that will happen. I hope it doesn't take another WWDC and VisionOS 2.0 for Apple to introduce more native apps.

Several missing features affect how a user can experience Vision Pro. The lack of focus filters means email won't be filtered when you're in work mode, and profiles won't switch when you open Safari.

Apple Vision Pro review – Safari profiles not available

Speaking of Safari profiles, there are none. My personal profile is the only one available, and VisionOS doesn't seem to have any knowledge of other existing profiles.

To work with VisionOS, I had to create new groups of tabs to work in my personal profile. This is a temporary solution until this feature comes to VisionOS.

VisionOS isn't just missing Apple's own apps. Many of the apps I rely on to do my job at AppleInsider are unavailable.

The future is uncertain

Apple Vision Pro and VisionOS are new platforms with limitless potential. Predicting where the technology will be in a month is not difficult, since there are beta versions of VisionOS. It's impossible to predict what technology will look like in six months or longer.

Apple Vision Pro review: Thin glasses form factor is ultimately the goal

Now that the hardware is in use, things will change quickly, even if it has only launched in the United States for now. Apple is studying how users use Apple Vision Pro, discovering new bugs to fix, and working on the next version of the operating system.

Developers see their applications for the first time in VisionOS. Every day, more and more applications are launched as native options.

I expect Apple to release Apple Vision Pro worldwide within a year, and most of the apps and features available on iPad will be released for VisionOS. Early bugs and strange limitations will be fixed with each update.

Start spatial calculations

Apple Vision Pro is something different. It represents Apple's first new computing platform since the iPad.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Ahead of the Planet

It's not the first of its kind, like most Apple products, but it represents the best. Spatial computing may be a marketing term, but it nicely describes something that is virtual reality but feels like mixed reality in practice.

It is not yet known when Apple Vision Pro 2 or Vision SE will be released. This is the hardware we're stuck with, and if the rumors are true, that won't change until 2026 at the earliest.

Apple Vision Pro represents the beginning of a new era, and software will have to catch up. The pass-through device, hand-eye tracking and displays are already state-of-the-art, so now it's time to see what developers can do with it.

I wrote this entire review, edited the photos, and put everything into our publishing system from Apple Vision Pro. Since I got my hands on it, I've spent all my shifts with the headset on, and it's quite possible that I'll be working with it on most days.

A new way of working

Spatial computing is still in its early days, and not all the apps I need are available, but my MacBook Pro helps where VisionOS fails. After years of working with an iPad, then moving to a hybrid model with a 14-inch MacBook Pro, and then returning to an iPad with only Stage Manager, it's time for a new change.

It feels like every workflow I developed for working with iPad set me up for working with Apple Vision Pro, and it's very convincing. Apple Vision Pro has proven to be an incredible product, even though it's version 1.0, and I can't wait to see where Apple goes next.

As I said about 4,000 words ago, this is the first of several reviews of the Apple Vision Pro. And stay tuned for updates after major VisionOS releases or important events.

Apple Vision Pro Review – Pros

  • Incredibly clear images without screen door effect.
  • Unmatched see-through quality.
  • Eye, hand tracking and Optic ID make the experience intuitive and discreet.
  • Easily attach, swap out, and customize accessories.
  • Integrating your Mac display into the VisionOS experience is something only Apple can do with such precision.
  • The culmination of vertical integration of software and Apple's hardware design has resulted in a device that seems transported from decades into the future.

Apple Vision Pro review – cons

  • Limited selection of applications at launch, especially native ones
  • Interface heavy with limited range options that may not provide advanced use for some.
  • Spaces should be bright to achieve best results with hand tracking and window placement.
  • For best results requires MFi products as standard Bluetooth products. “May affect Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.”
  • You will need a Bluetooth keyboard as the software keyboard is not suitable for anything more than quick text entry.
  • Not configurable once created
  • eyeSight is useful but a concern while Persona is in beta.
  • System-wide features available on iOS or macOS that are not present in VisionOS, such as focus filters or Safari profiles.
  • Expensive for a consumer product with the same processing power as a $600 Mac mini.

Rating: 4 out of 5— Today. This may change in the future.

As a platform, Apple Vision Pro is currently impossible to evaluate. The culmination of the pros and cons for Apple enthusiasts today is 4 out of 5. This is a product that may represent the future of computing, but it has a lot of room for improvement, especially in the short term.

How to buy Apple Vision Pro

Ordering Apple Vision Pro is not much different from purchasing any other Apple product, except it is only available in Apple online and in retail at launch. Customers will need to have a few things ready, such as a recipe, to ensure the ordering process goes smoothly.

Apple Vision Pro is available directly from Apple starting at $3,499 with 256GB of storage. Upgrade to 512GB or 1TB storage for an additional $200 per tier. Optical inserts cost $99 for readers and $149 for prescriptions.

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