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Apple Vision Pro guide: Everything you need to know

Apple Vision Pro went on sale in the U.S. on February 2, 2024. It’s a mixed reality headset (Apple calls it a “Spatial Computer”) that marries an M2 processor with a lot of custom silicon, sensors, cameras, and more. The starting price of $3,499 and limited availability means that it’s a niche product, but it’s the first in a new category that Apple believes will be critical in the coming years.

Update June 10, 2024: Apple has confirmed that the Vision Pro will finally go on sale outside the U.S. The headset will ship in eight more countries in June and July. More information below.

Apple Vision Pro release date: UK, Canada, Europe, Australia

After the U.S. launch in February 2024, Apple had said that the Vision Pro would be shipping to “more countries” later in 2024. At WWDC Apple announced which countries and when:

  • China (mainland): Pre-orders from June 13; on sale June 28
  • Hong Kong: June 13/June 28
  • Japan: June 13/June 28
  • Singapore: June 13/June 28
  • Australia: Pre-orders from June 28 at 10 pm AEST; on sale July 12
  • Canada: June 28 at 5 am PT/July 12
  • France: June 28 at 2 pm/July 12
  • Germany: June 28 at 2 pm/July 12
  • U.K.: June 28 at 1 pm/July 12

The Vision Pro is already being used in the U.K. despite not being available yet. A nurse at the Cromwell Hospital in London wore one during spinal surgery and a Vision Pro has also been used at the Vesey Hospital in the West Midlands, according to an AV Magazine report.

The links below will take you to the Apple website where you will be able to pre-order one in the following locations:

Apple Vision Pro price and availability

The headset was first announced at WWDC in on June 5, 2023, with pre-orders starting January 19, 2024 and availability in the U.S. only on February 2. The starting price is $3,499 for 256GB of storage, with a 512GB model available for $3,699 and a 1TB model for $3,899.

Now that Apple has announced the launch date for the Vision Pro outside the U.S. we have the price for those other territories (except for China):

  • Japan: 599,800 yen
  • Singapore: S$5,299
  • Australia: A$5,999 inc. GST
  • Canada: $4,999 (CAD)
  • France: €3 999
  • Germany: €3.999
  • U.K.: £3,499

You can only buy a Vision Pro online directly from Apple’s website, or by using the Apple Store app on your iPhone, or at an Apple Store. Part of the reason for this is the necessity to get a proper fit and optical inserts. Apple takes a scan of your face (you do this yourself with your iPhone if you are buying online) to select a proper face seal size. If you wear prescription eyewear or need readers, you can order special Zeiss inserts for $99 (readers) or $149 (prescription); the headset does not work with your own eyewear.

There are also other accessories available for purchase, including a travel case ($199), battery ($199), Belkin Battery Holder ($50), Solo knit Band ($99), Dual Loop Band ($99), Light Seal ($199), and Light Seal Cushion ($29). AppleCare+ is also available for $499.

Apple Vision Pro review

In our Apple Vision Pro review, we found the technology very impressive, but the comfort and software—both apps and operating system—quite limited.

There’s a lot of potential there, but it will take quite a while for the software to mature enough to unlock it, and for most users, the Vision Pro will never be worth the price.

Will there be a cheaper Apple Vision Pro?

We take the fact that the Vision Pro has the word “Pro” in its name as a big hint that a more affordable version will be coming down the line. An “Apple Vision Air,” if you will.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that a cheaper headset will arrive in 2025. He reported in October that Apple is already working on the sequel to the headset, which will be cheaper than the original model. However, new rumors about the successor to Vision Pro – both what it will be and when it will arrive – change frequently. They all have one thing in common, though: there isn’t expected to be any new hardware in 2024.

The Vision Pro is likely to follow the example of the HomePod with the expensive pro model paving the way for a cheaper option down the line. But it could be a while before the economies of scale and advancements in technology make a cheaper Apple Vision product viable.

Apple Vision Pro compatibility

The Vision Pro is its own product with its own software ecosystem. It has its own App Store, and runs software independent from other Apple products (though apps like Messages and Photos can sync via iCloud with your other Apple products).

There is support for iPad apps, however. By default, all iPad apps are made available for use on Vision Pro and can be found in the Vision Pro app store, but developers can opt not to allow their apps to be used on the device. White many iPad apps are available, prominent exceptions include YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix.

Apple Vision Pro specs

The Vision Pro is powered by an M2 processor with 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores–the same as you would find in a MacBook. It has 16GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of flash storage.

There are 14 cameras on the inside and outside, a LiDAR scanner, multiple IR illuminators, an accelerometer, gyroscope, and multiple microphones. A custom R1 processor is made to process the vast amount of data from these sensors very quickly, for lightning-fast eye tracking and a delay for the video pass-through of only 12 milliseconds.

When wearing the Vision Pro you look through custom catadioptric pancake lenses at a pair of micro-OLED displays, one for each eye. About the size of a postage stamp, each of these displays has a stunning resolution of about 3,386 pixels per inch, more than 4K per eye. Of course, what matters is pixels per degree when looking through the lenses, which on Vision Pro is around 34 pixels per degree (less than you’d see looking at an iPhone display, but more than most other VR headsets).

Apple does not disclose the field of view for the Vision Pro, but it appears to be somewhere around 110° horizontally and 90° vertically.

The Vision Pro is actively cooled, with a fan inside, but the fan runs so quietly you can’t hear it.

There are two individually amplified drivers inside each audio pod on the side of the headset near the headband connection. They deliver Personalized Spatial Audio based on the user’s own head and ear geometry. As a result, the sound feels like it is coming from the space around you. Vision Pro also matches the sound to the room using audio raytracing.

The Vision Pro also recognizes the user’s iris via a new method to unlock the device and authenticate passwords and purchases called Optic ID. Like the iPhone and Mac, all data is stored on a dedicated Secure Enclave processor.

On the outside of the headset is an OLED display with a lenticular lens over it that Apple calls EyeSight. It projects a rendered image of your own eyes with correct perspective, so others can see you looking at them. If you are in a fully immersive environment and can’t see anyone, the EyeSight display shows a blueish haze.

Apple Vision Pro battery life

Apple Vision Pro connects to an external battery via a custom tether, and the battery lasts for around 2 to 2.5 hours. The battery pack has a USB-C port that can only be used to recharge it, though you can use the Vision Pro with the battery plugged in.

Weight & Dimensions

According to Apple Vision Pro tech specs, the headset weighs 21.2 to 22.9 ounces (600 to 650 grams) depending on the Light Seal and headband configuration. That’s about the weight of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (24 ounces/682 grams). It’s not necessarily heavier than other VR headsets but quite a bit heavier than the Meta Quest 3, which weighs 18.2 ounces (516 grams).

The weight is very front-heavy, mostly in the metal and glass out in the front of the face seal instead of distributed around the sides. The battery pack weighs 12.5 ounces (353 grams).

What it is like to use Vision Pro

With a Vision Pro headset users will be able to watch a movie, listen to music, browse photos, look at 3D objects, and even collaborate on a presentation.

Users experience a three-dimensional interface and input system that they control with their eyes, hands, and voice. You select things by looking at them and pinching your fingers together, then dragging objects around or flicking your hand to scroll. A virtual keyboard is used to enter text where appropriate, either by poking at the keys or looking at each key in succession and pinching your fingers together. You can also use voice input to enter text, or a bluetooth keyboard.

Apple has posted a 10-minute guided tour explaining how navigation and gestures work as well as several apps. 

When you first put on Vision Pro you see your surroundings. You can freely move apps to fill the space around you and they can expand into your space. The digital crown lets you adjust volume or the degree of immersion in your environment–from fully immersed in a virtual space to seeing “passthrough” video of your own space. Here’s an primer on what the Vision Pro buttons do.

A user can bring Mac wirelessly into Apple Vision Pro just by looking at it and choosing to connect to it, if it is logged into the same Apple ID. The Mac display will blank out and be replaced by a big 4K virtual display in your Vision Pro environment; you’ll continue to use the Mac keyboard and touchpad, however, and audio will still play from the Mac.

Apple Vision Pro software and apps

The Vision Pro headset runs visionOS, an operating system that Apple has designed from the ground up for visual computing. The latest version is visionOS 1.1, which includes support for managed profiles, improved Personas, and lots of bug fixes and minor improvements.

There will also be a number of well-known Apple apps available at launch, such as Safari, Messages, and FaceTime. Apple launched Vision Pro with more than 600 optimized apps.

Apple Vision Pro terms

As with many Apple products, the company has some of its own branding around things that may be better understood by other names. Here are some of the things you may see associated with Vision Pro and what they mean.

Spatial Computing: Computing that appears to happen in the environment around you rather than inside a computer (or phone). A sort of umbrella-term that encapsulates AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality). It is not inaccurate to call Vision Pro and Mixed Reality headset.

Spatial apps: Apps designed with the Vision Pro hardware in mind, as opposed to iPad apps running in a window. Some Spatial apps are fully immersive experiences, others are almost indistinguishable from iPad apps.

Fully immersive: A “fully immersive” experience is one in which your surroundings are not visible: you’re completely surrounded in a virtual environment. In other words Virtual Reality.

Spatial Audio: Audio that seems to come from specific places in your environment.

Persona: A 3D digital recreation of you, created by scanning your face using the Vision Pro cameras. It is meant to be used to represent you in video conferencing apps like FaceTime or Zoom, since the Vision Pro has no cameras that can actually see your face (just specialized internal cameras for eye tracking).

Spatial Video: A new 3D video format that can be captured with either the Vision Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro. Spatial Videos can be viewed using a Vision Pro or even a Quest headset, and look a bit like a 3D diorama of a memory. It’s an emotionally charged and effective way of capturing the moment.