Last month, Apple began hosting Vision Pro developer labs in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, allowing developers to get early hands-on time with the headset. The one-day labs allow developers to test and optimize their apps on visionOS, with Apple employees available to help with setup and troubleshooting.
Apple today highlighted some positive reactions from developers who have attended the labs and had an opportunity to try on the Vision Pro.
“I’d been staring at this thing in the simulator for weeks and getting a general sense of how it works, but that was in a box,” said David Smith, developer of the Widgetsmith app. “The first time you see your own app running for real, that’s when you get the audible gasp.”
Fantastical and Cardhop developer Michael Simmons described the Vision Pro labs as a “proving ground” for spatial computing. “Experiencing spatial computing not only validated the designs we’d been thinking about — it helped us start thinking not just about left to right or up and down, but beyond borders at all,” he said.
Any registered Apple developer who is at least 18 years old can apply to attend a Vision Pro lab for free on Apple’s website, with additional dates added through late September depending on the location. Developers must have a new visionOS app in active development, or an existing iPadOS or iOS app, and Apple says priority will be given to developers who are building apps that are specially optimized for the Vision Pro.
In early August, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said he heard the labs had been “under-filled with small amounts of developers,” but interest could improve as time goes on. There are no labs available on the East Coast of the U.S., and Apple is not paying for travel or accommodation expenses involved with attending.
Apple says the Vision Pro will launch in the U.S. in early 2024, and in additional countries later that year. The headset will be priced at $3,499.