Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

xrOS or realityOS? Here’s what Apple’s Mixed Reality headset could feature

Updated Jan 5th, 2023 4:26PM EST
Apple mixed reality glasses render - bottom view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Early this 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, last week, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple would likely use the term xrOS instead, and it would mean something like “extended reality.”

9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito, on the other hand, claims that there isn’t a correct answer as Apple could be readying both xrOS and realityOS for its future Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality ambitions. Here’s why.

Espósito points out that Apple has registered several trademarks using the “Reality” brand, such as Reality One, Reality Pro, and Reality Processor. That said, it doesn’t mean xrOS, as reported by Gurman, is wrong.

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.

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 8K OLED displays, advanced sensors for the environment, and gesture detection, and could cost between $1,000-$3,000. It’s expected to be announced sometime in 2023.

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.