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Upcoming Apple Devices app for Windows references Reality OS and xrOS

Updated Jan 12th, 2023 11:37AM EST
Apple mixed reality glasses render - side view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

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As reported by BGR, Apple will soon launch new Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices apps for Windows 11 PCs. This upcoming Apple Devices app will be used to back up data, sync local media, and restore firmware without using iTunes, but apart from that, Twitter user @aaronp613 (via MacRumors) was able to discover references to both Reality OS and xrOS on its codes.

If you’re aware, realityOS and xrOS are the possible new software for Apple’s upcoming Mixed Reality headset. Last year, Apple filed a trademark for realityOS via one of its shell companies. With that, reports about the Cupertino company planning to use this name as the official operating system for its upcoming Mixed Reality headset floated the internet. Then, by the end of 2022, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple would likely use the term xrOS instead, and it would mean something like “extended reality.”

Last year, 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito said Apple is working on both names internally:

According to 9to5Mac sources, Apple has indeed been using the name ‘xrOS’ internally for something realted to its new mixed reality products.

However, it seems that the company has two different AR/VR platforms, one based on iOS, and the other based on macOS. It’s unclear at this point whether the platforms have different purposes, or whether 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.

While the name currently doesn’t matter, as references for both operating systems have been spotted, the importance of this discovery is to show that the Mixed Reality headset is indeed coming.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman believes in a spring reveal. The AR/VR wearable is Apple’s main priority for the year, and other projects might suffer as a result. The journalist says Apple has already shared the device with a few high-profile developers for testing and app development.

Recently, well-known Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has been dealing with hardware and software development delays. As a result, the headset would hit stores late in the second quarter or the third quarter of the year. Gurman also notes that Apple has “many kinks to work out with the device,” including hardware, software, and services. Apple must also figure out how to market and sell the Mixed Reality headset.

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.