The Apple Vision Pro might be getting a new video app — VLC readies its spatial computing debut after passing 5 billion downloads elsewhere

Apple Vision Pro demo appointment - in store display
(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / Future)

When you think of a media player app that works on just about every platform you could possibly own, VLC is no doubt the first one that springs to mind. It's an open source app from VideoLAN and it's hugely popular — so popular that it just celebrated reaching the five billion download figure, a monumental effort. But there's one platform you can't run VLC on just yet, and that might be about to change.

That platform is of course one that VLC isn't the only one to have skipped on so far. The Apple Vision Pro is new, to say the least, and its costly starting price of $3,499 makes it a relatively niche product. Couple that with the fact that it's still only available to those in the United States and it's easy to see why companies like YouTube and Netflix have so far chosen not to launch visionOS apps.

But in the case of VLC, things could be set to change in the future, although it's by no means a certainty. What we do know is that a version of VLC is now running on the Apple Vision Pro, so we know it's doable. But whether or not it will ever find its way into the headset's App Store is another question entirely.

Does anyone want it?

Speaking to Janko Roettgers' Lowpass newsletter, VideoLAN president Jean-Baptiste Kempf said that the app is yet to be released because he is " not sure there is any use case yet." Concerns about the size of the number of people who actually have Apple Vision Pros to hand were raised, suggesting that even if VLC doesn't come to visionOS any time soon it could arrive eventually — if Apple's vision for a future of spatial computing comes to fruition and we all find ourselves wearing Apple Vision Pros.

None of this is to say that VLC isn't going to arrive on an AR/VR headset near you soon, though. Kempf reportedly admitted that he "he was open to working on a version for Meta’s Quest headset as well, but added that there were already 'many good players' available on that platform."

As for the VLC player, we all know and love on existing, more 2D platforms, the app is getting ready for its big 4.0 update. It was originally planned to have been released a while ago but work remains ongoing. “We’ve been rewriting the whole core of VLC,” Kempf said, suggesting that there is more work to be done to get the app ready for public consumption.

Back to the Apple Vision Pro, media consumption is one area where the headset has proven to be particularly popular among those who have already picked one up so it stands to reason that VLC would make a good addition to the list of options.

The Apple Vision Pro is on sale now with the starting price of $3,499 getting you the 256GB model. Those who want to get more storage can choose 512GB or 1TB if they feel they need extra breathing room, but each upgrade costs an additional $200.

Apple also sells an extra battery for $199 should users want to be able to use the headset for more than a few hours away from a power outlet.

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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.