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New App Terminology Policy Unveiled by Apple

Reuters / Reuters

With Apple’s Vision Pro VR/AR headset slated for release on February 2, new details are emerging regarding app requirements. Apple has issued guidelines for visionOS developers, and there’s an unusual caveat – developers are discouraged from using terms like AR and VR when describing Vision Pro apps. Instead, Apple suggests referring to them as “spatial computing apps,” as seen on the developer page reported by 9to5Mac.

The guidelines state, “Spatial computing: Refer to your app as a spatial computing app. Don’t describe your app experience as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), or mixed reality (MR).” Additionally, the headset itself should be named “Apple Vision Pro” using three uppercase words, while “visionOS” begins with a lowercase ‘v’, even at the beginning of a sentence. Apple emphasizes that these terms should not be translated or transliterated.

It appears that Apple’s request to avoid terms like AR and VR when describing Vision Pro apps might be a strategy to distinguish its offerings from other VR/AR headsets, notably Meta’s Quest 3. This differentiation could help prevent consumer confusion. However, it’s worth noting that Apple has previously used the terms AR and VR extensively to describe the Vision Pro headset. CEO Tim Cook, during the launch at WWDC 2023, referred to it as an “entirely new AR platform.

In the provided guidelines, Apple also asks developers to disclose if their spatial computing apps involve movements such as quick turns or sudden changes in camera perspective. This information will trigger a badge on the product page to warn users. Additionally, the document addresses the use of privacy labels and game controllers. The Apple Vision Pro headset is set to be available on February 2 at a price of $3,495, likely appealing to a niche market of highly motivated buyers.

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