If Apple's Vision Pro isn't finished, imagine how awesome it could be when it is

A lady wearing the Apple Vision Pro headset
(Image credit: Apple)

It seems that you can't open a new Safari tab these days without someone having written more words about the Vision Pro headset, so it won't surprise anyone to see that I'm here again, doing precisely that.

Just 24 hours ago I bemoaned my own inability to decide where I stand on a headset that will cost $3,499 at some point in 2024 and, since I'm in the UK, likely even more. I won't rehash old ground, so read that work of art and come back here. I'll wait.

Back? Good. Because I need to tell you how a new report about what might still be yet to come from Vision Pro has my mind muddled all over again. I hope you're sitting comfortably.

Let's begin.

Unfinished software

The report that has me shook this time around comes from The Information's Wayne Ma, someone who has had a finger on the pulse of this Apple AR/VR headset game for months now. According to Ma, there was plenty that Apple didn't show off when announcing the Vision Pro headset on June 5, and not just because it ran out of time.

Instead, it's because Apple's software simply isn't ready. And that's both bad and good news (I wasn't joking when I said I was indecisive yesterday).

See, Ma reckons that despite Apple showing off all kinds of magic that involves throwing your Mac's display into 3D space on the headset, that wasn't all that was planned. According to him, Apple's original plan was to go a step further by having people pluck individual apps off their Mac's screen. Windows would flow from one place to another as if they were Meta headset owners fleeing in search of Apple's alternative. It would be truly magical if it worked. But it didn't happen.

The gist appears to be that Apple couldn't make everything work properly because visionOS is built on iOS, so it can't run macOS apps. It's the iPad problem all over again.

There's more, too. Fitness features that went AWOL might have been canned because Apple wasn't ready to show them off, while a co-presence feature which amounts to full-body FaceTime isn't ready yet either.

But what if Apple gets its act together? What if all of these problems, the ones that meant these features couldn't ship, get sorted? What could Vision Pro be capable of then?

Beyond all of that, just the fact that Apple was working on something more than what we saw on June 5 is a good sign, because it shows that there's more ambition to be had. The headset and the way it works, without controllers and using just your fingers, is already ambitious. But Apple wanted to go further and, dare I say, it will do. It just needs time.

The future's bright

All of this again brings me back to a point I've made before. The most exciting thing about Vision Pro isn't actually Vision Pro at all. It's what comes next. It's the cheaper version that we will inevitably get in the future. It's the Apple Glasses that replace all of these headsets further down the line, too.

The Minority Report future is coming, folks. And I can't wait. I just hope I don't have to sell my firstborn to get it.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.