Monday, July 15, 2024
VR&AR

The Best Vision Pro Apps to Download First – 8 Expert Picks


So you just got Vision Pro and you’ve mastered the basics but now you want to see the coolest stuff on the headset. We’ve got a great list here of the best Vision Pro apps to download first to really see what Apple’s ‘spatial computer’ is capable of. Many of these are also great to demo Vision Pro to friends and family.

Why This List?

Now you might be thinking “who are you and why should I think your suggestions for the best Vision Pro apps are any good?” And, you know what… I respect that skeptical approach to media consumption. So let me tell you why you can trust me.

My name is Ben Lang and I’m the founder of this here publication, Road to VR. I’ve been reporting on XR (what Apple calls “spatial computing”) for more than a decade. I’ve spent thousands of hours in XR, and used every major headset made to date, including being one of the first members of the public to ever use Vision Pro. I’ve used every app I’m recommending on this list. And beyond all of that, I lead Road to VR’s series Inside XR Design and Insights & Artwork which explore what makes great spatial app design.

The Best Apple Vision Pro Apps to Download First

This list aims to present the very best Vision Pro apps that represent the variety of immersive experiences you can have in the headset. Now I know you want to jump into your headset ASAP, so I’m going to give you the list right up front with details further below if you want to know more before diving in head-first.

Best Vision Pro Apps Table of Contents

  1. Encounter Dinosaurs
  2. Puzzling Places
  3. Blackbox
  4. Wisp World
  5. Apple Immersive Videos
  6. Synth Riders
  7. Loona
  8. AmazeVR Concerts

1. Encounter Dinosaurs – Free

Encounter Dinosaurs is the most immersive experience I’ve seen on Vision Pro yet, and probably the best place to start if you want to wow your friends and family with a demo. And the best part is, it comes pre-installed! You can find the experience on your app home screen with an icon of a dinosaur footprint.

In this five-ish minute experience the wall will open for you to peer into the prehistoric world. You’ll get up close and personal with dinos big and small, with incredibly sharp graphics.

Pro Tip: Some people will be viscerally afraid when they come face-to-face with a life-sized dinosaur, especially if they’ve never done an immersive experience like this. You might not always be able to guess how people will react when confronted with something that looks as realistic as Encounter Dinosaurs.

So if you don’t already know that someone is going to be chill—even when their instinctual brain is telling them they’re in real danger—consider having them start the experience seated in a chair. Trust me, you don’t want someone ripping off your $3,500 headset and tossing it to the ground, or running directly into the nearest wall. Using a chair is also an especially good idea in the case of people who have balance or stability issues, like seniors.

If they’re still relaxed in the chair after the big dino comes out, that’s the time to encourage them to stand up and get closer for an even more immersive experience.

If you like doing 2D puzzles, just wait until you try spatial puzzles. Puzzling Places is a 3D puzzle game that’s way more satisfying than you might think. Each puzzle is built from a 3D scan of a real place. Once you’re finished, you’re looking at a detailed model of a beautiful little scene—which is an even better payoff than seeing the completed image of a 2D puzzle. Even as someone who isn’t a big puzzler I find Puzzling Places very fun!

Pro Tip: While you’re holding a puzzle piece, you can use your other hand to rotate the puzzle by looking at it and pinching, then dragging it around. This can make finding the spot for your next piece much easier. And if you’re really kicked back and relaxing, you can rotate the puzzle with a single hand by dragging the piece you’re holding near the puzzle, then pushing it to the left, right, top, or bottom of the puzzle.

If you like brain teasers more than puzzles, Blackbox is the app for you. From the creator of the inventive iOS app of the same name, this version of Blackbox is completely reimagined for Vision Pro. In it you’ll be presented with small challenges that test your wit and sometimes even your imagination. Solutions are often simple once you know them, but you’ll spend some time scratching your head before the lightbulb goes off, making your eureka moment that much more satisfying.

Wisp World is fascinating because it’s not quite a game but also not quite an app. It takes the form of a sort of digital desk ornament. It’s like a little alien bonsai tree, but with an adorable little forest spirit that lives on it. You can feed your little friend by knocking buds off the tree and popping them, then watch as it goes after them like a goldfish at feeding time. As you feed and talk to the spirit the little biome will change and grow.

Pro Tip: Wisp World is a ‘volume’ app, which means that even though it’s 3D it can stay open next to other apps. It’ll stay right where you put it, so consider setting it on your desk or tucking away in a nice nook in your home, the same way you’d place a plant or aquarium. Then when you happen to be over that way, check in on your little friend and see what they’re up to.

5. Apple Immersive Videos – Apple TV+ Subscription Required

These aren’t technically apps that you download; they’re streaming video experiences that you’ll find when browsing the pre-installed Apple TV app on Vision Pro. While you might be used to seeing 3D movies in a movie theater, Apple Immersive videos are 3D VR180 videos, which means that instead of looking through a window into the scene, you practically feel like you’re sitting right there. The footage wraps around you so you can even look around the scene by turning your head.

There’s only four Apple Immersive videos available right now, and they vary in length:

Adventure (13 mins)

Immerse yourself in the world of adventure like never before. Join pioneering athletes as they face extraordinary challenges in some of the world’s most spectacular locations. Hailing from Atlantic Productions and produced by Apple Immersive Video, the first episode, titled “Highlining,” will offer an escape into thin air with highliner Faith Dickey as she takes on her highest challenge yet: a daring traverse 3,000 feet above Norway’s breathtaking fjords.

Alicia Keys: Rehearsal Room (20 mins)

‘Alicia Keys: Rehearsal Room’ is an intimate, short film that offers viewers a rare glimpse into the Grammy winner’s creative process, including a rehearsal session featuring renditions of her hits “No One,” “If I Ain’t Got You” and “You Don’t Know My Name.”

Wild Life (7 mins)

Get up close and personal with some of the most charismatic creatures on the planet — and uncover what makes them unique with the experts who know them best. The first episode brings viewers into the world’s largest rhino sanctuary where a former police captain has dedicated her life to rescuing, raising and rewilding these gentle giants.

Prehistoric Planet Immersive (4 mins)

Inspired by the award-winning Apple Original docuseries from Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth, “Prehistoric Planet Immersive” is a new film that whisks viewers along a rugged ocean coast where a pterosaur colony settles in for an afternoon nap — one that proves to be anything but restful. Viewers will transport into the daily lives of dinosaurs, experiencing T-Rex teens crashing a quiet colony of pterosaurs on the beach until mama shows up to break up their party, and an intense battle between raptors and a pride of Triceratops in the forest.

Personally I’d recommend ‘Adventure’ first for its breathtaking views and the way it immerses you in the tension of the subject. Then check out ‘Alicia Keys: Rehearsal Room’ for a taste of the ways that immersive video can make you feel like you’re right there in a place you’d otherwise never get to be.

6. Synth Riders – Apple Arcade Subscription Required

For an immersive gaming experience, check out this port of a popular VR rhythm game, Synth Riders. It’s been rebuilt from the ground up for Vision Pro, but the idea is the same: swing your arms to the beat and go for a high score. If you really get into the vibe you’ll feel like you’re dancing! This is the closest thing you’ll see to Beat Saber on Vision Pro probably for quite some time.

Loona is a spatial puzzle game, but compared to Puzzling Places it’s less challenging and more casual and cozy. Each puzzle is a beautifully crafted set of 3D models that play out a bit like a paint-by-number—it’s pretty obvious where each element goes, but watching the little scene come together has its own satisfying charm. That makes Loona great for chilling out and good for youngsters too.

Pro Tip: The puzzles in Loona can be scaled to any size. Look at the puzzle, pinch both hands, then drag together or apart to change the size. It’s fun to scale the puzzle up to life-sized or to make it small and bring it onto the table in front of you. You can also spin the puzzle by pinching with just one hand then dragging.

8. AmazeVR Concerts – Free (with in-app purchases)

AmazeVR Concerts puts you face-to-face with famous entertainers in a way that you couldn’t pay for even if you wanted to. These specially filmed immersive scenes are part performance, part music video, and all around a really interesting way to experience music in a full VR experience. In AmazeVR Concerts the scenes completely surround you and the artists dance and sing right in front of you like a concert that you’ve got the one and only ticket to.

You can preview any of the available performances, but you’ll need to make an in-app purchase to unlock the full experience.

Currently available within AmazeVR Concerts:
  • Zara Larsson
  • T-Pain
  • UPSAHL
Coming soon:
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Avenged Sevenfold
  • aespa

Did we miss any great apps for Vision Pro? Let us know in the comments below!



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