Apple releases VisionOS SDK, developers can apply for Vision Pro hardware kit

Apple will also open developer labs in six cities around the world to help software makers test their Vision Pro apps.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Jason Hiner
Apple Vision Pro at Apple Park for WWDC 2023

Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2023.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

At this year's WWDC, Apple announced it was launching a new hardware and software platform with the Apple Vision Pro headset and the new VisionOS to run it. On Wednesday, Apple released the VisionOS SDK, the opportunity for developers to apply to get the Vision Pro developer kit (hardware). Apple also announced six developer labs in cities around the world where developers can work with Apple on developing and testing their apps. 

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Developers will be able to use familiar technologies like Xcode, SwiftUI, RealityKit, ARKit, and TestFlight to create their Vision Pro app experiences. These technologies will aid in creating apps in 3D with the help of Reality Composer Pro, a tool that allows developers to preview 3D models, animations, images, and sounds.

A VisionOS simulator will be available to provide different physical room layouts and lighting conditions to ensure the apps work in any environment. Additionally, Apple's accessibility features will be provided to developers to ensure their VisionOS apps are suitable for everyone.

an artistic rendering of someone using the Apple Vision Pro

Next month, developers building their 3D apps with Unity authoring tools can transfer them to Vision Pro.

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Apple has also released a VisionOS design kit for Figma, a platform designers and app makers use to prototype designs for new websites, apps, and software. Apple notes that its Figma assets include "a comprehensive set of UI components, views, system interfaces, text styles, color styles, and materials. All of the core ingredients you need to quickly create highly realistic VisionOS app designs."

The VisionOS SDK, new Xcode, Simulator, and Reality Composer Pro are available for Apple Developer Program members.

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