Saturday, June 15, 2024
VR&AR

Apple reveals visionOS 2 update with 3D spatial photos and more


Key Takeaways

  • visionOS 2.0 is adding things like ultrawide Mac displays and an improved Travel Mode with train support.
  • The update will go live sometime this fall.
  • The Vision Pro headset is shipping to eight new countries starting later in June.


Apple kicked off its WWDC 2024 keynote on Monday with news about visionOS 2.0, the next major update for its Vision Pro headset. The software is getting a series of significant upgrades, such as a long-demanded customizable homescreen. You’ll finally be able to reorder and/or remove app icons, which is obviously important given the personal nature of an AR/VR headset.

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People using the headset to extend their Mac’s display are getting Virtual Display enhancements, mainly a new ultrawide option said to be equivalent to two 4K screens. The Photos app, meanwhile, is gaining the option to simulate 3D for older 2D photos by detecting and moving objects into their own planes. Travel Mode is being expanded to trains, which should keep content from shifting around on daily commutes.


Other changes include mouse support, a new Bora Bora environment, and new sharing options, namely SharePlay for Photos and an AirPlay receiver mode. Apple is promising a lot for the TV app, such as a Multiview option and a lot of new immersive content, one example being a music experience starring The Weeknd.

Work is also being done behind the scenes to support new app functions. These include new volumetric APIs, new enterprise APIs for tasks like healthcare, and a TabletopKit framework for anchoring apps like boardgames to flat surfaces. HealthKit is coming, as are new gesture types. A potential game-changer is Live Caption support for both apps and real-time conversations.


Live Captions in visionOS 2.0.Plus, the Vision Pro is headed to new countries

China, Japan, and Singapore

So far US-only, the Vision Pro itself is coming to China, Japan, and Singapore on June 28. That will be followed by launches in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK on July 12. Apple hasn’t yet published prices, but expect foreign costs to be high given the $3,499 entry level in the US. Pre-orders for those first three countries start at 6PM Pacific time on June 13.


Buyers will still only get visionOS 1.2 to start with, however. visionOS 2.0 is launching sometime this fall, most likely in the company’s usual September/October window for OS updates.



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