Netflix will snub Apple Vision Pro and force people to use its website to watch their favorite TV shows and movies

3d films vision pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Vision Pro headset will finally go on sale on February 2 after preorders open up today at 5 AM PT, which means that people will be able to put Apple's new product through its paces soon enough. But while watching TV shows and movies on the Vision Pro is sure to be a stunning experience for those who can afford the $3,499 asking price, doing so could be more complicated than just downloading an app.

That's the case if you're a Netflix subscriber, anyway. The streaming giant already has apps available for the iPhone and iPad, but the company has confirmed that it won't be in the Vision Pro App Store come day one. And it's unlikely that will change any time soon, too.

The news means that watching Netflix content on a Vision Pro isn't going to be as simple as launching the familiar app and kicking back, but it doesn't mean that subscribers won't be able to watch their favorite content. Instead, Netflix says that subscribers should venture into Safari and do things the old-fashioned way — by using the Netflix website.

This is the news broken by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman after it was confirmed by Netflix that it's going to give the Vision Pro a miss.

“Our members will be able to enjoy Netflix on the web browser on the Vision Pro, similar to how our members can enjoy Netflix on Macs,” the company said in a statement. This despite the fact that there is a Netflix app available for Meta's Quest line of AR/VR headsets. However, as Gurman notes, that app doesn't appear to be under active development and has not been updated in a number of years. That might suggest that Netflix has simply decided that everyone should use the website instead of an app when using such devices.

That would be an odd decision given the fact Netflix maintains apps for other platforms like smartphones and tablets, devices that could equally access the Netflix website instead. It isn't clear why Netflix has decided to go with this approach, but it doesn't seem likely to be one that it is going to reverse. It's also notable that Netflix is going to prevent Vision Pro users from just accessing its iPad app instead, actively pushing them toward the web.

Netflix is actually going to be something of an outlier here because streaming fans will have plenty of apps to enjoy on the Vision Pro. Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will be available for 3D movies, although the latter will be found in the TV app as is the case on other Apple hardware including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

A small complication

As strange as Netflix's stance may be, it's unlikely to cause Vision Pro buyers too many problems. If the headset is to usher in a new world of spatial computing for Apple users it will need to be able to excel at more than streaming Netflix — especially given the price.

The Vision Pro will start at $3,499 for the model with 256GB of storage while options with more storage are also expected to be offered. Apple has yet to confirm that, but it's thought that 1TB will be the upper limit. Whether or not that means that a 512GB model will also be offered is something else that is yet to be confirmed, as is pricing for these other potential models.

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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.