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Apple Focusing on Gaming and Fitness Apps for Its AR/VR Headset

Apple Focusing on Gaming and Fitness Apps for Its AR/VR Headset

Apple is expected to unveil its AR/VR “mixed” reality headset during WWDC 2023 in June and the Cupertino firm is currently working on apps to make the headset attractive to potential users. Bloomberg reports Apple is concentrating on ports, gaming, wellness, and collaboration apps for the device. The headset is set to debut at an event in June, with the product going on sale for around $3,000 a few months later.

Apple-designed apps such as Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Home, Photos, Music, Reminders, Files, Messages, Notes, and other built-in apps will be optimized for the headset. The apps are reportedly being adapted from iPad apps of the same names, and the built-in apps will be optimized for the headset and users will be able to access existing App Store content via a 3D interface. The device will multi-task apps. Apps will also use geolocation functionality to switch between apps according to which room a user is in.

In addition to the core apps, a version of Apple Books is under development for the headset to allow users to read in virtual reality. A camera app that can take photos from the headset is also being developed.

Apple is also reportedly working on a VR version of its Fitness+ workout service for the headset, which will allow users to exercise while watching an instructor in VR. Also in development is an app that will aid users with their meditating through a series of calming graphics, sounds, and voice-overs.

Apple is also developing a headset version of its Freeform collaboration app for the headset. Freeform, which was launched on the company’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac platforms last year, will allow users to work on virtual whiteboards together while in mixed reality. The headset will also offer a dedicated FaceTime experience with virtual meeting rooms and Momoji-like avatars.

The headset will also be a part of Apple’s ongoing push into sports streaming, offering immersive viewing experiences for Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer content. A dedicated TV app will be available for watching videos in a VR environment.

Apple will also offer an array of tools for games developers that will aid them in updating their existing content for mixed reality, and for creating AR/VR experiences.

Apple is expecting the AR/VR headset’s sales to be slow initially, due to its $3,000 price tag. The company expects year-one sales to be approximately one million units, which is a low number for Apple devices.

Apple will have to push hard to make sure the headset becomes more than simply a niche product. Mixed-reality headsets from other companies haven’t over-performed, and Apple will need to come up with the same type of killer apps that fueled iPhone sales.

Some Apple employees have called the headset a “solution in search of a problem” and some employees say the device is not “driven by the same clarity” as other Apple products.