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Apple accidentally referenced secret new realityOS in open source code

Published Mar 16th, 2023 7:41AM EDT
Apple mixed reality glasses render - side view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

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Apple has updated its source code available for developers on GitHub. As noted by Aaron on Twitter, the company mentions “realityOS” and “Reality Simulator” a lot alongside currently existing platforms.

This comes at a time the company is expected to unveil its first Mixed Reality headset, which rumors so far say it will be called Reality Pro. Although 9to5Mac already reported on a possible realityOS software, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says Apple has settled on xrOS as the platform name for this mixed reality headset, meaning these references on GitHub may not mean much.

A few months ago, 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito said Apple has two different AR/VR platforms, one based on iOS and the other based on macOS. He wrote:

(…) Apple has been experimenting with both. but what we’ve heard is that ‘realityOS’ is what the company’s engineers have been calling the iOS-based platform, and ‘xrOS’ would be the macOS-based platform.

That said, while Reality Pro and xrOS are the names expected for the upcoming Reality Pro headset, it doesn’t mean the Cupertino firm isn’t readying a realityOS for the future.

Which will launch first? realityOS or xrOS?

Previous reports indicate that the first generation of Apple’s Mixed Reality headset will likely be similar to the first-gen Apple Watch experience, which means relying very much on the iPhone to work. With that in mind, it could mean that realityOS, the iOS-based platform, would be the first to be available.

9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito says that “xrOS could even potentially run on a new companion device made exclusively to drive Apple’s headset,” meaning it could be something entirely new.

Apple’s future Mixed Reality headset is set to feature two 4K microLED displays, advanced sensors for the environment, and gesture detection. It could cost between $1,000-$3,000. The headset is expected to be announced sometime in 2023, most likely during WWDC.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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