If you have at least $3,500 to spare, you might consider ordering the upcoming Apple Vision Pro. Apple’s first spatial computer is coming to the US on February 2. Even though the company hasn’t added many details about this imminent release, I couldn’t stop thinking that the Apple Vision Pro is almost like a very expensive iPad that may offer even fewer capabilities than the company’s tablets.
According to Apple, Vision Pro is built on three pillars: Productivity, Entertainment, and Gaming. Does it sound familiar? Although Cupertino never promoted the iPad as a gaming device, I remember the early days of this tablet’s release when I would play Fruit Ninja, Infinity Blade, and GTA San Andreas for hours.
At the time, an iPhone with a 3.5-inch or 4-inch display wasn’t enough to take advantage of some of the most interesting mobile games. But fast forward to a decade later, I don’t think Apple Vision Pro can relive that “wow moment” we felt with the iPad or the iPhone in the early 2010s.
In Apple’s press release, the company highlights productivity and collaboration apps, but like the iPad, these apps work best with a Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad paired. Otherwise, typing in the air might not be ideal for a fast and productive workflow.
For entertainment – and many people use the iPad to watch TV shows, whether traveling or at home – Apple says there are more than 150 3D titles for Apple Vision Pro. While the 100-foot wide “spatial” TV with HDR content support might be its biggest selling point, it’s still a lot of money for an entertainment device. Especially one that you won’t be able to stream some movies as its battery lasts up to 2.5 hours, which is insufficient to watch an entire season of modern TV shows or a film like Apple TV+’s Napoleon.
Lastly, Apple Vision Pro will include over 250 Apple Arcade titles, such as Super Fruit Ninja. As I mentioned above, while I played the original Fruit Ninja for countless hours with my friends, I don’t think cutting fruits in mixed reality will be enough to justify this expensive product. Of course, I wasn’t expecting any AAA games coming to the spatial computer at this moment. Still, if Apple is betting on games with “unique and engaging gameplay experiences,” I thought the company could do a bit more.
I hope Apple Vision Pro succeeds, but it might fall into iPad’s existing issues
Apple says Apple Vision Pro’s App Store will offer up to a million apps. While some developers are creating exclusive apps for the new platform, we’ll have to wait for months until we have a wave of apps dedicated to the spatial computer – if we ever get that. Despite the iPhone’s App Store, all the other stores look a bit empty and underwhelming.
Apple bets on iPhone and iPad’s big app numbers to inflate the upcoming Apple Vision Pro App Store, but at the end of the day, you’ll still be paying $3,500 to control flat-screen apps that could be better enjoyed on your iPhone and iPad.
It’s not easy to introduce a brand new category, but Apple is one of the few companies that can succeed in new areas. There are still lots of unanswered questions about Apple Vision Pro. Luckily, most of them won’t take long to be answered, as the device is just around the corner.
I’m excited to get my hands on this device, even if it’s initially underwhelming. Still, I can’t lie to you and say I’m not apprehensive about this spatial computer looking like an expensive iPad and might not be able to deliver a breakthrough experience, as Apple hopes.