Will Apple's Vision Pay Off?

The new Apple headset is quite the entry.

Good morning! ☀️ *Tim Cook voice*

The Apple Vision Pro headset is a game changer, iOS 17 & watchOS 10 Betas are here, and more. Short one this week!

Estimated reading time: 3.8 minutes

📊 Poll

Last week, I asked what you were most excited for at WWDC..

Here were some of my favorite replies:

Headset - “Just excited to ring in a whole new era with Apple, even if I put myself in credit card debt doing it. ” 🤣

watchOS 10 - “Definitely watchOS 10, as Apple Watch is already my favorite device in the ecosystem. Not to mention watchOS is in a dire need of an update as so many apps on the market (and competitors like Withings, Fitbit,..) do so much of a better job in offering Health analytics like visuals, sharing options, and more.” Well, hope you’re satisfied with the update! It’s def a big one

iOS 17 - “This is something that most Apple users will be able to take advantage or because it’s a free software update not a product. The most exciting thing is definitely side loading, would like to see the approach that Apple takes.” Yeah, about that side loading feature…

This week: Did you install iOS 17 Beta 1? Or are you holding off until September?

Did you install iOS 17 Beta 1?

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🥽 Everyone is Wrong about the Vision Pro

Last week I mentioned how WWDC 2023 would likely blow our socks off and, well, it did.

The main reason? There was a One More Thing announcement: Apple Vision Pro! Here are the details and my thoughts:

  • The chassis looks like ski goggles and AirPods Max had a baby

    • The tinted, front glass panel wraps around your eyes, acting as a lens and can show your eyes on the external display

  • The resolution is unreal. 2 micro‑OLED panels with 23 million pixels (basically a 4K TV per-eye)

  • Eye tracking is going to be the biggest game-changer with this headset imo. Here’s how Apple describes the tech:

“A high-performance eye tracking system of LEDs and infrared cameras projects invisible light patterns onto each eye. This advanced system provides ultraprecise input without your needing to hold any controllers, so you can accurately select elements just by looking at them.”

So the IR cameras inside of the headset track your eyes, while downward-facing cameras on the exterior track your hands. And LiDar sensors will sense objects around the Vision Pro in real time, tracking their positions.

The Vision Pro has 23 sensors, including 12 cameras, 5 sensors and 6 mics. All of these will feed into the new R1 chip, which was designed to “eliminate lag” and stream images to the headset’s display “8x times faster than the blink of an eye.”

It’s essentially a sophisticated computer on your head. But with only 2 hours of battery life on a charge, and an external battery pack, this won’t be a headset out of Black Mirror where you wear it 24/7.

The price? $3499. Releases sometime in 2024.

My Thoughts

  • Not as much isolation as other “VR headsets” thanks to EyeSight, a feature that will show the people who walk into view while in a virtual world. This allows you to know they are there and communicate, while actively wearing the headset. Huge!

  • And also thanks to EyeSight, the people around you will know when you’re in AR mode because the front display will show your eyes. Well, a live video of your eyes via a recording from the internal cameras/sensors

  • Eye tracking and hand gestures will be a huge selling point. The fact that app icons and buttons pop up to indicate you are looking at them, is genius. And a simple pinch with your fingers will select that app/button.

  • The low latency is another major key. Those who got hands-on time with this said that there was no noticeable lag and that you can walk with the headset perfectly fine, since there's only a 12ms delay

  • Developers will play a massive role in the success or failure of this product category, as will Gen Z

  • Apple didn’t focus primarily on gaming - they showed practical use-cases like browsing Safari, making FaceTime calls, watching videos, etc. And as mentioned above, once 3rd party apps make their way to the headset, sky is the limit

  • I will 100% be paying for tickets to sit courtside at an NBA game in VR

  • Not a huge fan of the external battery pack but it saves weight, so that’s a decent trade-off. You can also buy extra batteries, so this won’t be a dealbreaker for many

  • The integration with the iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and AirPods make this extra special

  • I disagree with the majority who think this will replace the iPhone anytime soon. That day is still decades away imo

  • This will only have mass appeal when the form factor is similar to the Google Glass - a design that looks like normal glasses, just cooler and with an Apple logo somewhere

  • I think this will sell better than we think. It’s expensive and it won’t be a “success” by Apple standards, but I fully expect the hype to build substantially as this year goes on. And again, this will be a stepping stone to what I believe will be the next major tech product/category

Hot take

This isn’t as dystopian as people think. Everyone’s already so addicted to their phones, and I don’t see this headset making that any worse.

I mean, have you been to a birthday party or concert lately? We’re kinda already there. Everyone pulls out their phone to record concerts, reactions to Christmas gifts, etc.

And in a sense, recording with a phone could be worse than with the headset because you have that big phone in front of your eyes and you’re distracted by checking if the subject is in frame, if the brightness is on point, etc.

But with the headset, none of that matters and you can more-so take in the full experience without watching it through a small iPhone screen.

Video recording aside, watching movies or playing games is the other area people are concerned about - but, as mentioned earlier, the EyeSight feature keeps you grounded in your environment so you aren’t disconnected from the world around you.

Point being: I don’t see this headset making things any worse than the current landscape we’re already living in. 🤷🏻‍♂️

But I have to know: Do you agree? Do you think this Vision Pro headset is the future? Share why or why not in the poll below!

Thoughts on Vision Pro headset?

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⚙️ iOS 17 is a Big Deal, too

Alongside the Vision Pro headset and other hardware, Apple also unveiled iOS 17, watchOS 10, macOS Sonoma, and updates for their other platforms. But these were the most important:

However, Apple announced even more new iOS 17 features coming later this year!

Digital IDs Accepted at Businesses

And while this feature seems awesome on the surface, I can’t help but think that this will be a very slow rollout.

Yes it will be available this year, but places like bars and local businesses are old school. I can see the people working here denying an iPhone as a form of identification and requiring a physical ID.

So there’s a long road ahead for Apple, but I hope this means more states will be getting the digital ID feature this year since only 4 states are currently eligible in the Wallet app.

Apple Cash

  • Apple Cash users will be able to set up weekly, biweekly, or monthly Apple Cash payments,

  • This is excellent for paying rent, for parents to pay an allowance, etc

  • RIP CashApp, I’ll personally be using this now instead of CashApp

  • You’ll be able to automatically top up your Apple Cash balance when running low

Collaborative Playlists & Sing

  • In Apple Music, you’ll be able to invite others to select and edit tracks, and even add emoji reactions to specific songs. Coool!

  • Using Apple Music Sing and Continuity Camera, users will be able to see themselves onscreen and apply all-new camera filters as they sing along to the lyrics of their favorite songs

All of these features + more will be coming in future iOS 17 Betas and the final release with all features will come in September.

🤔 Developer Betas = FREE!

Before this week, if you wanted to install a developer Beta for any software version, you had to pay $99/year for an Apple Developer Account.

But this week, Apple shocked everybody by doing a complete 180 from what we expected: they made the developer Betas free!

I saw a lot of theories about why Apple might’ve done this, but I think the explanation is actually very simple: The paid developer account is for actual developers.

You see, Apple was never charging $99/year for access to developer betas, they were charging for access to dev tools and app distribution.

So, now you can sign up for a free developer account to get access to the Developer Betas, and if you ever want to create and distribute an app, you can pay the $99/year.

The Public Betas will still exist and those will remain the more stable builds, as Apple releases those later to ensure less major bugs/issues.

I still recommend most to use the Public Beta on a main device, and developer Beta on a secondary device (if you have one).

🎨 Set Wallpaper

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🫶 Reader Love

I plan to keep it free, but would a premium version be of interest?

Your comments/feedback are extremely helpful & encouraging!

Until next week, ✌️

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