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Apple launches software development kit for Apple Vision Pro

By Liu Hongzuo - on 22 Jun 2023, 4:24pm

Apple launches software development kit for Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro's software developer kit is now available.

Apple today (22 June 2023) announced the launch of the Apple Vision Pro’s software development kit (SDK).

The SDK allows non-Apple (third-party) app developers to create content, apps, and computing tools for Apple’s spatial computer headset. The kit, called visionOS SDK, is named after the Vision Pro’s operating system (much like how iPhones get iOS and MacBooks get MacOS).

“Apple Vision Pro redefines what’s possible on a computing platform. Developers can get started building visionOS apps using the powerful frameworks they already know, and take their development even further with new innovative tools and technologies like Reality Composer Pro, to design all-new experiences for their users,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations.

The frameworks featured in Vision Pro’s visionOS SDK include ones that already exist in other Apple platforms, which include Xcode, SwiftUI, RealityKit, ARKit, and TestFlight. These frameworks allow developers can create products and services similar to what was showcased during the headset’s introductory keynote seen at WWDC 2023 (including the VR-like immersive view, unbounded AR-like 3D content, and more). 

Apple Vision Pro's operating system allows for apps to be controlled in a 3D space.

New tools are also implemented for these frameworks to help with the creation process. For example, Reality Composer Pro in Xcode lets developers preview their apps’ 3D content before shipping it out (models, animations, images, sounds, etc.).  

Starting in July 2023, Apple will also open its developer labs in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, allowing developers in these countries to test their apps on the Apple Vision Pro in person. Apple staff will also be present at these labs to provide support.

In the same month, developers who created 3D apps using Unity’s cross-platform game engine can port Unity apps to Apple Vision Pro. 

At WWDC 2023, Apple said the Vision Pro would be available in 2024 at an eye-popping price tag of US$3,499. We’ve tried the headset at WWDC, and here are our thoughts. Apple already has third-party headband options for the head-worn device. Rumours about the headset also hinted at a more affordable alternative coming in 2025.

Apple’s visionOS SDK can be found here.

Source: Apple (newsroom)

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