iPad apps need more than a checkbox to run on Apple Vision Pro

in visionOS edited June 2023
Apple Vision Pro is limited in what iPad apps and features it can support, so developers have plenty to do to ensure compatibility.

Apple Vision Pro can run iPhone and iPad apps
Apple Vision Pro can run iPhone and iPad apps

visionOS SDK is now available to developers, and it contains a lot of information about app development for the platform. Developers that want to bring their iPhone and iPad apps to Apple Vision Pro will need to do much more than click a checkbox.

Since this is a headset that must be worn, there are plenty of app categories and features that don't make sense. Apple has carved out a list of specific features that need to be removed or modified for Apple Vision Pro.

Some apps types won't work on visionOS at all. Those include app extensions like iMessage stickers or custom keyboards, navigation apps, and photography apps.

Apple says that if an app can run without the unsupported features, it can still be ported to visionOS after they are removed from the build. The full feature list can be found in Apple's developer documentation, but here is what stands out.

Features and tools not available for visionOS apps:

  • Core Motion, Barometer, magnetometer, haptics, and other device frameworks

  • Location data outside of the standard service

  • HealthKit data, meaning there is not health data collection or Health app

  • Video or photo capture cameras on the headset aren't controllable via third-party apps

  • AirPlay, visionOS will hide AirPlay buttons in interfaces

  • App Clips, watchOS app extensions, widgets for the Home Screen or Lock Screen

  • Handoff doesn't attempt to pass activity to other devices from visionOS

  • Users can't add HomeKit devices from Apple Vision Pro

  • Multi-touch is limited to two touch inputs, not ten

  • PencilKit

  • ScreenTime

  • CarPlay and CarKey

Users have also discovered what first-party Apple apps will be available in visionOS, at least in this beta. Things like the Files app, Safari, and News are there, but there isn't a calculator app or weather app.

Developers have only just gotten their hands on the visionOS SDK, and Apple Vision Pro won't release until early 2024. A lot could change about the operating system and its abilities in the coming months.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 2
    I for one am glad the VisionPro doesn't support CarPlay & CarKey, the last thing we need is people trying to drive wearing this.  Some of the other items will probably get added over time, keep in mind this is a first gen product.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Shame about PencilKit missing; I had wonderful visions of drawing on my iPad and then 'throwing' that image from my iPad up into AR like Tony Stark... :(
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