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Apple Vision Pro developer software arriving a month before test hardware

Vision Pro at Apple Park

Developers can start building apps for Apple Vision Pro on the visionOS platform today, thanks to the now-released software development kit.

Apple announced Apple Vision Pro and its operating system, visionOS, during WWDC 2023. The new platform combines AR and VR experiences to enable apps to run in 3D space.

Betas and SDKs for Apple's operating systems like iOS and macOS launched on day one of WWDC — all except for visionOS. That meant developers could ready their software for the fall releases, but couldn't delve into building for the new platform just yet.

A press release from Apple on Wednesday announced the visionOS SDK is now available.

"Apple Vision Pro redefines what's possible on a computing platform," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Developers can get started building visionOS apps using the powerful frameworks they already know, and take their development even further with new innovative tools and technologies like Reality Composer Pro, to design all-new experiences for their users."

"By taking advantage of the space around the user, spatial computing unlocks new opportunities for our developers, and enables them to imagine new ways to help their users connect, be productive, and enjoy new types of entertainment," Prescott continued. "We can't wait to see what our developer community dreams up."

Apple will also be opening up developer labs in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo to provide developers with hands-on experiences to test their apps on Apple Vision Pro. Development teams can also apply for developer kits in July.

visionOS runs apps in a 3D environment
visionOS runs apps in a 3D environment

No information has been provided about developer kits or what form they will take. Apple could provide pre-release models to trusted developers, but more likely, these kits will not resemble the final hardware.

As part of the SDK release, Apple has also released visionOS 1.0 beta 1, build 21N5165g. However, this beta isn't available to public developers since no hardware has been released and will likely be used on the developer kits.

Tools released include the visionOS SDK, an updated Xcode, Simulator, and Reality Composer Pro. Developers can build apps for visionOS using SwiftUI, RealityKit, and ARKit.