Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset will have a lot of different features. In its first version, it is likely to have many things that other headsets don’t have.
The Apple VR and AR gadget is expected to show up at WWDC in June and become the center of attention. Most of the talk about it has been about its hardware, but it looks like its list of features and tasks could be just as long.
On Tuesday, a story said that Apple was making several apps for the headset. Mark Gurman adds a lot more software functions to the list in Bloomberg’s “Power On” newsletter on Sunday.
The first and most important is that the headset will be able to run “most of Apple’s existing iPad apps in mixed reality.” These apps include Books, Cameras, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV, and Weather.
A new Wellness app will help you meditate by using pictures that pull you in and sounds that are soothing. There will be a VR-focused Fitness+ that can be used with a headset, but it looks like it won’t be available until later.
The headset will also be able to run “hundreds of thousands” of third-party iPad apps from the App Store, according to reports. For compatibility, the makers may need to make “minimal changes,” but many of the apps may need “no extra work” to run.
But at WWDC, Apple is said to be releasing a software development kit and a Mac-based headset model to help developers make new apps and services for the headset’s operating system, which is said to be called xrOS.
Apple will also have videoconferencing and meeting rooms with realistic avatars, which “should make users feel like they’re interacting in the same space.” Freeform will also get new ways to work together.
It is likely that gaming will be a big focus, and “top-tier titles” from third parties will be available.
On the video side, users can watch media while in a virtual setting, like a desert. As part of its push to show live games, it will offer a new portal to watch sports in virtual reality.
To help Mac users be more productive, the headset will be able to be used as an external monitor for a linked Mac, just like Meta’s Horizon Workrooms can do.
The story says that there will be more than one way to use the headset itself. These include eye tracking, hand gestures, and Siri. It will also be possible to join other devices, like a keyboard, or to have controls on other Apple products, like an iPhone.