What you need to know
- More evidence of an Apple AR headset has appeared in the iOS 13 GM.
- The iOS 13 GM includes the new Starboard system shell to run stereo AR apps.
- One developer believes Apple canned the announcement at the last minute.
Uncovered by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, several references to an AR headset are found, and there are even details describing how the whole system works. Troughton-Smith's findings are backed by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also chimes in, saying the evidence serves as confirmation that Apple is developing an AR headset.
The iOS 13 GM also comes with a readme file (!) for how employees can run Stereo AR apps on an iPhone when you don't have access to Apple's headset 😳 pic.twitter.com/SeZEHW8p0S— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019
It seems very much like Stereo AR apps are an app extension type you can include in your iOS app bundle, if you have the entitlements. One imagines that when Apple's headset is attached, it has a dashboard of some kind that shows you your available Stereo AR apps (like CarPlay)— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019
The GameController framework in iOS 13 also has a gamepad profile for a device meant to be used while using stereo AR apps. The controller profile has a clicky trackpad, a trigger button, and a system (home?) button. Handheld controller for Apple's headset? 🤔— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019
There's so much evidence, in fact, that Rambo believes Apple meant to teases the headset at its iPhone 11 Pro event, but canned the announcement at the last minute
To me this looks like the announcement was planned for the keynote, but dropped last minute. 🧐 https://t.co/pQ96A2srh9— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 10, 2019
The Starboard shell describes an AR headset capable of running stereo AR apps. Content is apparently offloaded to an external display, similar to CarPlay. There are also references to a motion controller meant to be used with the rumored device; the controller may include a trackpad, trigger button, and home button.
Apple is typically very secretive when it comes to future products, but clearly something was overlooked in this instance.
Apple had the time to rip out all the Apple Tag references in iOS 13, but somehow managed to leave all the AR headset subsystems in? Not that I'm complaining, but, wat. 😟— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 11, 2019
Apple is rumored to have another event in October, where we might get our first glimpse at its rumored AR headset.
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