iOS 18 will let third-party apps help you to record spatial video content on the iPhone 15 Pro

Spatial Video
(Image credit: Apple)

One of Apple Vision Pro's killer features is its ability to playback Spatial Video, a format that adds depth to a video you've recorded. While the headset can capture spatial content itself, you'll likely get better results from filming with your iPhone 15 Pro. It can offer an experience akin to peering into a moment in time. And now, you'll be able to let third-party apps help you capture better spatial video from your iPhone.

Up until now, if you wanted to dabble in recording spatial video, you were stuck using Apple's built-in Camera app. But those shackles are off. In a recent WWDC 2024 coding session, Apple revealed that it's releasing an API as part of iOS 18 that lets developers sprinkle some of that spatial magic into their own camera apps.

You'll be able to record spatial video from third-party apps

This new API is seamlessly integrated into the existing camera frameworks, making it a breeze for developers to implement. But why does this matter? By allowing third-party apps to record spatial video, we'll have more options for capturing this type of content. Third-party apps often offer a better UI with more control, which some users like. Or things could go a step further. Some video editing apps could capture spatial video, allowing you to add in additional elements, filters, or stickers to create new content. The doors are open to different possibilities.

In case you're not already sure, when you hold your iPhone 15 Pro in landscape orientation, the main and ultra-wide cameras team up to record spatial video. This feature is not just for the fancy Pro models; it's expected to hit the regular iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus as well, thanks to their vertically aligned rear cameras. Of course, you’ll need a Vision Pro headset to actually see the 3D depth. Without it, your spatial videos will look just like any other 2D video.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.