YouTube is one of the biggest apps not available on Vision Pro at launch. Thankfully we now we know that it’s on the way. But will it support its large existing library of spatial videos?
Not only did YouTube not have a Vision Pro app ready for launch day, the company actually went out of its way to opt-out of having its existing iPad or iPhone apps run on the device.
But according to a statement to The Verge, the company confirmed that a native Vision Pro YouTube app is “on [the] roadmap].”
While you can already watch YouTube videos on Vision Pro through the browser, the experience isn’t quite as smooth as a native app would be. And the browser version doesn’t support any of YouTube’s existing spatial video content.
YouTube was an early adopter of spatial videos (supporting 3D, 180, and 360) and has amassed quite the library of footage over the years. As it stands, you can watch spatial videos on a headset like Quest through the native YouTube VR app that’s been on the platform since 2019. But right now those videos are locked away on Vision Pro.
So will a native YouTube app on Vision Pro support that content? Right now it’s unclear.
The Verge asked YouTube this question directly but has yet to get an answer
As for Apple? They threw some serious shade on YouTube’s spatial video library:
“much of [spatial video content on YouTube] was created for devices that do not deliver a high-quality spatial experience. In some cases, this content could also cause motion discomfort. We’ve focused our efforts on delivering the best spatial media experience possible including spatial photos and videos, Apple Immersive Video, and 3D movies available on Apple TV,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge.
That point about ‘motion discomfort’ could even mean that Apple wouldn’t allow YouTube to put its spatial videos on Vision Pro. However, we’re unsure at this point if Apple has any explicit comfort requirements that developers must follow for app approval.
While we wait for YouTube to make its own native app for Vision Pro, a third-party developer has already sprung into action. The app Juno for YouTube is already available on the headset (albeit with a $5 price) and has the beginnings of a native YouTube experience available today. Unfortunately it also lacks support for YouTube’s spatial videos.