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Apple scrapped these Vision Pro features before unveiling the headset

Published Jun 21st, 2023 12:47PM EDT
Apple Vision Pro, first spatial computer made by Apple
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple Vision Pro stunned people when previewed during the WWDC 2023 keynote. While this spatial computer will mainly focus on entertainment and productivity, previous reports said Apple would focus on even more features.

The Information‘s Wayne Ma (via 9to5Mac) wrote about the functions Apple was planning to introduce but then scrapped due to hardware or software limitations.

For example, the Fitness section could have had more than just meditation and mindfulness sessions, but the “cumbersome external battery pack and the front-facing glass screen could be too fragile to survive a bump from furniture or a wall.” That said, Ma reported that “some employees discussed collaborations with brands such as Nike for working out with the headset, while others investigated face cushions that were better suited for sweaty, high-intensity workouts.”

While these partnerships and new workouts might not land with the first generation of the product, it’s interesting to understand what paths Apple was following.

For gaming, for example, Apple Vision Pro is expected to feature over 100 Apple Arcade games, but the reliance on hand tracking could be a problem for gamers in general. The publication says that during an Apple-hosted Slack conversation, an engineer wrote that “while hand tracking was great for performing gestures, providing visual feedback and some finer interaction tasks, it wasn’t the best choice for tasks that required very precise interactions, something that is crucial for gaming.” If Apple Vision Pro gets support for third-party gaming controllers, that would be great.

Another scrapped plan was Vision Pro running Mac apps in a 3D space. Wayne Ma writes: “[Engineers] had explored giving people the ability to drag Mac apps from that windowed display into a user’s 3D space, essentially running Mac software on Vision Pro. However, Apple killed this feature early on because the Vision Pro’s operating system, VisionOS, wasn’t capable enough, given that it was based on iOS, which is already a stripped-down version of the Mac operating system.

Interestingly enough, this is why Apple decided to expand the Mac display with the Vision Pro instead of giving it its own Mac apps. The full story is behind a paywall, but you can access it here.

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.