Apple Releases Vision Pro Development Tools and Headset Emulator

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Apple has released new and updated tools for developers to begin building XR apps on Apple Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro isn’t due out until early 2024, but the company wants developers to get a jump-start on building apps for the new headset.

To that end the company announced today it has released the visionOS SDK, updated Xcode, Simulator, and Reality Composer Pro, which developers can get access to at the Vision OS developer website.

While some of the tools will be familiar to Apple developers, tools like Simulator and Reality Composer Pro are newly released for the headset.

Simulator is the Apple Vision Pro emulator, which aims to give developers a way to test their apps before having their hands on the headset. The tool effectively acts as a software version of Apple Vision Pro, allowing developers see how their apps will render and act on the headset.

Reality Composer Pro is aimed at making it easy for developers to build interactive scenes with 3D models, sounds, and textures. From what we understand, it’s sort of like an easier (albeit less capable) alternative to Unity. However, developers who already know or aren’t afraid to learn a full-blown game engine can also use Unity to build visionOS apps.

Image courtesy Apple

In addition to the release of the visionOS SDK today, Apple says it’s still on track to open a handful of ‘Developer Labs’ around the world where developers can get their hands on the headset and test their apps. The company also says developers will be able to apply to receive Apple Vision Pro development kits next month.