Sunday, June 23, 2024

All the new ways the Vision Pro just got so much better

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A person looks at a large Mac Virtual Display while wearing an Apple Vision Pro. Apple

Promotional logo for WWDC 2023.

This story is part of our complete Apple WWDC coverage

At the WWDC 2024 event, the biggest news was Apple Intelligence bringing AI power to the iPhone and Mac, but the tech giant hasn’t forgotten about the Vision Pro.

VisionOS 2 is coming this fall and brings some great new features and refinements. A few stood out as particularly interesting, like the ability to convert regular pictures into spatial photos, and the new Train Mode, an expansion of Travel Mode that lets you use your Vision Pro on planes, trains, and subways.

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Apple also showed off a much wider Virtual Display. With an ultrawide floating screen, your Mac connection should become much more useful, with enough room for multiple windows.

Apple TV support will be improved with up to five simultaneous screens. While that has limited value for movies and series, it’s a great addition if you follow sports or news. VisionOS 2 also brings AirPlay support, so you can stream from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your Vision Pro headset.

Web videos will gain a free-floating mode, and Apple removed limits on window size and position. You can position them further away, change the size, and even place them above you when lying down.

An Apple keyboard appears to float in a Vision Pro immersive environment. Apple

Your Vision Pro will also get better Bluetooth accessory support. Apple skimmed over these important upgrades, but your keyboard will soon be visible even in immersive environments, appearing within the space just like your hands. VisionOS 2 also enables Bluetooth mouse support, a surprising omission in the launch version.

It will be easier to share your Vision Pro with others this fall since visionOS 2 allows your headset to remember guests for up to 30 days. Currently, a guest user must go through setup every time they borrow your Vision Pro.

A new pinch gesture, with an upward-facing palm, makes it easier to access your Home View. A downward pinch opens the Control Center.

These are all great additions that expand the usefulness of the Vision Pro, addressing some common customer complaints about what seemed like arbitrary restrictions. Of course, we want to use a mouse, see bigger Mac windows, and use the Vision Pro while commuting.

Apple still doesn’t have a solution for long-term comfort while wearing the Vision Pro, and it’s still ridiculously expensive, but it’s nice to see ongoing software improvements to what remains one of the best VR headsets you can buy.

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