I have a giant, Polish head. My neck has been holding it up for decades. Thus, I don’t find wearing Vision Pro particularly heavy. If you suffer from geek neck, where your head is already hanging forward over thin air instead of above your shoulders where it should be, I would imagine you might find strapping aluminum and glass to the front of your face unhelpful.
Is Vision Pro heavier than I wish it were? Of course. Is that a deal breaker? Not at all.
Personally, I feel the heat more than the weight of the device. My cheeks tend to get a bit flush after wearing Vision Pro for more than an hour or so.
A nice gent at the Apple Store in Boulder gave me a great tip when it comes to adjusting the head band. If you feel too much weight on your forehead, move the band up. If you feel too much on your cheeks, move it down. Basically, move the strap in the direction of the weight, and the balance will even out. Also, dial the strap in tight, but not too tight.
I’ve been using the Solo Knit band exclusively, by the way. Haven’t even tried the other band yet.
I’ve been wearing Vision Pro somewhere between 4-6 hours a day since I got it. And it feels fine to me. Obviously, it takes some getting used to. You are looking at video, not real life. And you are aware of that right away. It’s not that you are under the illusion you are looking at the real world. Move your eyes fast enough, and you’ll see the screen trying to catch up. But you do forget you aren’t looking at the real world pretty fast. And that’s the magic.
The first time you walk through your email window is a surreal experience.
Over all, wearing Vision Pro will be weirder for the people around you than it will be for you. People are constantly surprised I can see them, because they are so used to what they’ve seen of other headsets that really do take you out of the real world.
Vision Pro can take you out of the real world, via environments. But you can literally dial that in as you see fit. I find myself going back and forth according to context. When I’m on a plane, you’d better believe I’m dialing out the ugly seats, cabin, and other passengers in favor of Mt. Hood or the Moon. (Or the amazing empty theater in the TV app.) But when it comes time to take a drink, or I want to work with my laptop in visionOS, I dial it back to just the area directly in front of me, so I can see my keyboard and the side table with my glass on it.
(It did take me a minute to figure out how to take a drink of water without banging the glass into my device. Pro tip: lean your head and shoulders back a bit.)
How do I wear it for so long? What’s my secret? The same secret I’ve been using for looking at screens all day since the dawn of computers: frequent breaks. I get up, move around. Grab a drink of water. Go to the bathroom. Take a walk outside. All without the device. Yes, you can wear it on a walk, but don’t. Five minutes away from the device, looking at the real world again, and my cheeks cool back down, my eyes readjust, and I’m ready to go back in. It’s fairly straightforward.
Also, if you’re worried Vision Pro will make you nauseous or give you a headache: I was, too. Every VR headset I’ve ever tried made me dizzy in a matter of a few minutes. Vision Pro doesn’t. I’ve been told it’s the lack of latency. Whatever the reason, Vision Pro is the only headset I can wear and not get sick. So there’s that. I imagine there are some folks who will still not be able to adjust. Try it for yourself and see. All I know is I am definitely sensitive to such things, and I have no issues with Vision Pro.
All this hype about not having enough apps at launch was way overblown. There are relatively few native Vision apps at the moment. But there are thousands and thousands of iPad apps that work perfectly fine. Will they be better once they are redone for visionOS natively? Of course. But this doesn’t feel like iPhone apps on iPad. The graphics aren’t blown up or fuzzy in any way. You can resize them as needed. And with few exceptions, all the functions work perfectly. The team did an outstanding job of making iPad apps work seamlessly without much compromise.
The worst part of iOS apps on Vision Pro is how you launch them. Having to dig into the “Compatible apps” folder is a bit of a bummer. I suspect Apple can fix this pretty quick. (Along with allowing you to rearrange your home screen grid.)
As far as converting iPadOS apps, I took an app I’ve been working on in SwiftUI for iPhone, iPad, and macOS, and added native visionOS compatibility in Xcode. Had it working in ten minutes. Had it working well and looking proper in about an hour. This will not be hard for most SwiftUI apps. The biggest issue native apps face for visionOS is the size of the market. It’ll be a while before there are enough Vision Pro devices out there in the real world to make the effort worthwhile for larger companies. Especially with older apps with a lot of legacy code.
Speaking of larger companies—YouTube and Netflix not being available on visionOS is entirely on Google and Netflix. Their iPadOS apps would function just fine with zero effort, I’ve been told by people who would know. The decision to uncheck the compatibility checkbox is a political—not technological—one. I suspect they will change their tune in time.
If apps like Fantastical are any indication, porting to visionOS should be not only doable but doable within months, not years. Even for apps that have been a staple on iOS for a very long time.
This is the best 1.0 Apple has ever shipped. It’s probably the best 1.0 anyone has ever shipped. Put it this way: visionOS already has Cut, Copy, and Paste. It has multiple window support. It has a file manager app. It has support for external keyboards and trackpads. It has full integration with iOS and macOS devices. All the things people have been complaining about iPadOS not being ready for proper productivity? visionOS already has all that settled. Imagine how much better it will be at 2.0.
Using your eyes as a pointing device is way more intuitive than you might imagine. Within seconds, I was getting around the OS like I had been doing it my entire life. There were a few things to learn, like how to force quit apps, shut down the device, and so on. But taking a screenshot on any device is always a matter of learning the magic keystroke.
Pro tip on typing: Don’t bother tapping keys on the virtual keyboard. Just look at the key, and then pinch. It’s so much faster. You don’t have to turn your head, either. Just move your eyes. I can already type more accurately on visionOS than I can on my iPhone. It’s a bit slow, but for anything beyond a passcode or a few words, an external keyboard is the way to go, anyway.
If you've been using Apple's built-in password manager, by the way, logging into to just about anything will be a breeze. The integration is excellent.
While I’m talking about visionOS, let me take a moment to shout out to the sound designers. As one would expect from Apple, the visionOS sound effects are delightful. And the spatial nature of the OS makes the sounds even more delightful. Where the sound is coming from is as important as the sound itself.
The built-in speakers are mind-boggling. But since I don’t want to disturb those around me, I’ve spent most of my time with Vision Pro using AirPods Pro. The spatial effect works perfectly and drives the point home that your work is now all around you, not just on a flat screen.
It’s pretty damn hard to get a Persona you can live with. At least it was for me. The problem is that Personae are so darn realistic, any little thing hits you immediately. For me, the capture of my actual facial features—eyes, nose, mouth, skin tone—were all flawless. Too flawless, in fact. I sort of wish it would smooth me out a bit, to be honest.
It’s my hair the Vision Pro can’t seem to figure out. For the first and only time in my life, I sort of wished I were bald or had a crew cut. If your hair is anything other than very short, it’s going to struggle to not make your hair look painted on your head.
The best tip I can give is to set Vision Pro on a high table (an adjustable standing desk is perfect for this) and face the device with your arms down, not holding the device with your own hands. Get your hair out of your face, even if that’s not how you’d normally wear it. Any hair in the facial region will just look flat.
All that seems to help. Along with having a light-colored, plain background, such as a white wall. I haven’t tried with a green screen. Maybe that would help, too?
Also, don’t create your Persona after having used Vision Pro for several minutes. You will get puffy cheeks and lines under your eyes from the device itself. Take a break, let your face recover, and then capture a new Persona.
For now, I can live with my Persona, but I will likely be recapturing it every once in a while until they can make it a bit better at handling hair.
If I lived alone, I would have gotten rid of my TV the day after I picked up Vision Pro. It’s simply the best way to watch movies, shows, etc. Period. Hands down. Game over.
It’s the only way to watch a 3D movie, as far as I’m concerned. As someone who always hated 3D movies in theaters, because the glasses always made the movie blurry and dim, I was blown away with 3D content on Vision Pro. Finally, I get why filmmakers were so excited about 3D. It actually works when you can project it properly.
(Apple's immersive video content is even more impressive. But five minutes of watching that lady highlining over a canyon was too much for a guy who has been afraid of falling from heights his entire life. Yikes)
Also, I’m very glad I took so many panoramic photos over the years. Even though I’ve never really seen any benefit to them on my iPhone or iPads. On visionOS, you finally understand the value. Magnificent to relive these memories.
I have no interest in VR or AR for gaming. I get that’s where these sorts of devices have been used most up until now. But I also get this is why the entire category has remained a niche. Apple is looking to change that, clearly. Not only because the current price of the hardware dictates it (more on that in a bit) but because there just aren’t enough people out there who want to play VR games vs those who need to do daily Zoom meetings. VR gaming would never be a big enough market on its own for Apple to bother with it. And let’s face it; Apple would have a much bigger hill to climb trying to dominate in games.
That doesn't mean Vision Pro is no good for games, mind you. Just that it's so much more than that.
I say this carefully, because I don’t wish to offend. But if you haven’t used Vision Pro, you probably shouldn’t be writing about it. It really is a device that must be used to be understood. And I mean used for real work, not a just demo in a store.
The folks at the Apple Store will give you a great demo. Don’t get me wrong. I highly encourage folks who can make the trek to try it out there. But until you open your own apps around you and start doing some actual work, you won’t fully grasp the potential of the device. It is transformative. I don’t say that with any sort of hyperbole. I will literally never look at working on any computer the same way.
visionOS is already pretty cool on its own. But everything gets that much better when I open my laptop and connect it to Vision Pro. Suddenly, all of Apple’s work on Continuity makes a lot more sense. I’ve tried several times opening my iPad next to my Mac in order to run Mail, Messages, etc. and leave my Mac screen for the specific productivity apps I’m currently running. But it was just never worth the hassle to do on a daily basis.
Since connecting to Vision Pro, my Mac now runs Xcode and the Adobe Suite exclusively. Everything else is done in visionOS. And it’s glorious.
Vision Pro, in other words, turns my Mac into a focused, dedicated productivity device. All the other stuff I need is nearby, in windows just out of view until I turn my head one way or the other.
The Mac window itself in visionOS is much better than having an external monitor in several ways. For one, it can be moved anywhere I want it. Including just above my laptop monitor. (So I can avoid that whole geek neck thing.) I can resize it, move it up or down, closer or further away. Pretty much any way I want. All while my hands remain where they should be. It’s like having a wireless external monitor connected to a stand with unlimited adjustability. Except that doesn’t exist.
The biggest question mark I had about visionOS was how it would be to work with it day in and day out. Whatever fears I had about this melted away in seconds. The macOS window is clear. It’s as big as I want it to be. I started using it for fine-adjusting bezier curves in Illustrator, and I was immediately faster and more productive than ever I had been on my laptop alone.
Give me Xcode (or whatever Apple wants to call a visionOS version of it) and a native Adobe suite, and I think I can stop buying new Macs altogether.
I haven’t tried Adobe’s iPad apps on visionOS yet. I can only hope their versions of Illustrator and Photoshop are far enough along and ready to be ported over natively soon. That would be amazing.
Prior to getting Vision Pro, I was trying figure out whether Vision Pro will end up replacing my iPad or my Mac, if either, and it’s clear now it’s the Mac whose days would be numbered. For me, at least. Not anytime soon, mind you. I’m thinking it’ll be years, if it happens at all. But if I eventually go without a Mac, I would not be surprised. Traveling with Vision Pro and just a mouse and trackpad would be very nice.
I always balk at the word “expensive” because it connotes not just that the price is high, but that’s it’s higher than it should be. Vision Pro is not expensive. Even Mark Zuckerberg admitted the price makes sense, given the hardware Apple is packing into this thing. My first Mac SE in 1986 cost more than Vision Pro did, in inflation-adjusted dollars. A Mac Pro or well equipped MacBook Pro would easily cost you the same or more.
There’s no question it is a chunk of change, though. More than many can currently afford. And whether or not you see it as being worth the price to you is entirely dependent on what role you see Vision Pro playing in your life.
If you think of Vision Pro as the world’s best way to watch movies, then yeah. It’s probably too high a price to pay.
If, like me, you see it as an entirely new way to be more productive when working, then the price is downright cheap. I paid less for Vision Pro than I did for my Apple Pro Display XDR, and I can use it while sitting on the couch.
The three biggest gripes people have with Vision Pro are price, size/weight, and battery life. These are three problems the tech world has been solving since the dawn of computing. Time will fix all three very easily. So it’s not a matter of whether Vision Pro will be successful. It’s just a matter of how long it takes for mass adoption. In a few short years, Spatial Computing will be a Fortune 100 company within Apple, just as Apple Watch is now.
You’re living in the future, whether you know it or not.