VisionOS SDK Is Now Available

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced the availability of new software tools and technologies that enable developers to create groundbreaking app experiences for Apple Vision Pro — Apple’s first spatial computer. Featuring visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system, Vision Pro lets users interact with digital content in their physical space using the most natural and intuitive inputs possible — their eyes, hands, and voice. [...] With the visionOS SDK, developers can utilize the powerful and unique capabilities of Vision Pro and visionOS to design brand-new app experiences across a variety of categories including productivity, design, gaming, and more.

Next month, Apple will open developer labs in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo to provide developers with hands-on experience to test their apps on Apple Vision Pro hardware and get support from Apple engineers. Development teams will also be able to apply for developer kits to help them quickly build, iterate, and test right on Apple Vision Pro.

Three thoughts:

  • This is the same SDK Apple itself is using to develop VisionOS apps. I mean, sure, Apple has access to private APIs, but that’s true on MacOS and iOS too. But this is not like the original WatchKit in 2015, where third-party developers were stuck with a severely limited SDK that was nothing like the APIs being used by Apple itself for the built-in WatchOS apps. This is real dogfooding, and I bet we see some very strong apps and games for VisionOS on day one.

  • These in-person labs will prove essential for many developers during this prelude period, where developers won’t have access to Vision Pro itself while working on apps.

  • I think Reality Composer Pro could be the sleeper hit of this SDK — a tool not (just) for programmers, but for creative artists. Like what Adobe Illustrator was to graphic design vs. writing Postscript code at the outset of the desktop publishing revolution a generation ago.

Wednesday, 21 June 2023