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A Vision of Future Apps
This month I had the opportunity to visit Apple HQ and debug my apps on the Vision Pro, the upcoming AR/VR headset.
This month I had the opportunity to visit Apple’s Developer Center in Cupertino and test my applications and websites on their new augmented reality headset: the Vision Pro. The device is not yet available, but they are inviting developers to try, see, and experience Apple’s take on immersive computing. I spent six hours fiddling around with samples and testing my project, Patatap, on the device in a room with other developers and in-house engineers. Apple does not frequently create new platforms or operating systems, so I was excited to see how the existing tools they had built serve this new platform. For a little bit of my time, I wanted to gauge how difficult it would be to port an application I already made to VisionOS (the Vision Pro’s operating system). To do this with knowledgeable engineers and developers in the room only sped my process up.
For developers reading this, the process to port is straightforward. While VisionOS is a new operating system, it holds parity with iOS (the operating system that runs iPhones and iPads). You will need to update your app and set its target to iOS 17.0. If it builds and runs successfully there, you will have little issue running your app in VisionOS. Then add a new destination in your current target for the Apple Vision. That is it. You can now build your app in the simulator and also apply for an in-person visit to try out the device.
This day long visit was unlike the big developer conferences with slick keynote presentations upselling all sorts of features I had previously attended or watched remotely. Instead of being overwhelmed by all the things you could do, the organizers sat with you and saw what you are building. And, they would recommend APIs, features, or tools that were relevant to your app. Some things I learned about were: Audio Units, Technical Support Incidents, and AppStore editorial reviews. This experience has given me clarity on future applications (or future versions of already published applications) I plan to make.
So, while the Vision Pro may drum up excitement on social media, it was learning about ways Apple engages with their developers and how I can take advantage of this support that got me excited. If you are a developer and working in Apple’s ecosystem, I recommend attending an event.