Breaking News: Vision Pro pre-orders, iOS 17.3 release date, blood oxygen ban on Apple Watch

Posted by MacRumors Staff

After years of rumors and months of post-unveiling anticipation, Apple's headset is finally here, with pre-orders going live in the US ahead of its launch in early February.

While the Vision Pro was the biggest news of the week, there were also important developments in the ongoing Apple Watch blood oxygen patent dispute. , with Apple being forced to start selling Series 9 and Ultra 2 models with the sensor disabled for now.

We also got release times for the upcoming iOS 17.3 and related updates, while Apple is now reluctant to allow developers offer payment methods for in-app purchases outside of the Apple Store, so read the details below!

Apple Vision Pro is now available for pre-order

Apple is accepting pre-orders on Apple Vision Pro, the company's first spatial computing device. Orders are being accepted through the US online store ahead of the February 2 launch date, with the Vision Pro limited to the United States for now, although estimated shipping costs for new orders have quickly begun to shift into March.

In addition to starting pre-orders, Apple shared some additional details about the Vision Pro, including full technical specifications such as storage options up to 1 TB, AppleCare+ pricing, available accessories, and more.

Apple is starting to sell Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches without blood oxygen monitoring in the US due to controversy

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models sold in the US no longer have a functional app for measuring blood oxygen , starting this week, which will allow Apple to bypass the ban on the sale of these models. Previously sold watches and models sold in other countries are not affected.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) last year ordered a ban on the import and sale of Apple Watch models with a blood oxygen sensor after after it ruled that Apple had infringed Masimo's pulse oximetry patents. Masimo accused Apple of stealing trade secrets and poaching employees.

As a long-term solution, Apple is reportedly working on changes to the Blood Oxygen app's algorithm in an attempt to circumvent Masimo's proprietary technology, but this is unclear. when these changes are ready.

Apple will release iOS 17.3 next week with these new features

In its press release, it introduced a new Black Unity sports band for the Apple Watch. Apple has confirmed that iOS 17.3 will be released next week.

The software update includes several new features and additions for iPhone, including protection against stolen devices, shared Apple Music playlists, the ability to connect your iPhone to select hotel room TVs via AirPlay, Unity Bloom wallpaper for your lock screen, and more.

American developers can now offer purchasing options outside the App Store, but Apple still will collect commission

Under a US court ruling, Apple now allows App Store apps to post a single link to the developer's website that leads to an alternative payment option for in-app purchases, but Apple plans to continue charging a commission of 12 to 27 percent for content purchased that way. way.

This change came about after a decision by the US Supreme Court. A judge has refused to hear Apple and Epic Games' appeals in a lawsuit over App Store rules, and now Apple is demanding that Epic pay legal fees.

Kuo: Apple Vision Pro will go international Before WWDC

Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Vision Pro will launch in other countries outside the US by WWDC 2024 in June.

Apple previously announced that Vision Pro will be released in other countries later this year, but it does not indicate any specific countries. Canada, the UK and other English-speaking countries are reported to be among the countries where the headset is likely to be released soon.

Apple's Vision Pro Virtual Keyboard has been called a “total write-off”

The Vision Pro keyboard floats in the air, allowing you to enter text in a spatial computing environment without having to remove the device.

However, anyone who plans to ditch the physical keyboard may want to consider you'll want to hold it a little longer. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the virtual keyboard in VisionOS 1.0 has been “completely written off” and most people will want to use a Bluetooth keyboard instead.

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