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Apple tells developers not to call their AR and VR apps AR or VR apps

With Apple’s Vision Pro VR/AR headset set to go on sale on February 2, we’re starting to see more details about the app requirements. For example, the company has released guidelines for visionOS developers planning to release apps and there’s one strange caveat. It would rather developers don’t use the terms AR and VR when referring to Vision Pro apps, but rather call them “spatial computing apps,” according to the developer page spotted by 9to5Mac.

“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),” the company states. The headset itself should be called “Apple Vision Pro” with three uppercase words, while “visionOS begins with a lowercase v, even when it’s the first word in a sentence.” The terms should never be translated or transliterated, Apple added.

Given that they’re definitely going to be AR and VR apps built for an AR/VR headset, Apple may want to differentiate its own offerings so that consumers don’t confound apps for other VR/AR headsets, particularly Meta’s Quest 3, with its own. At the same time, Apple has used those terms extensively to describe the headset, with CEO Tim Cook calling Vision Pro an “entirely new AR platform” when it launched at WWDC 2023.

In the same document, Apple asked developers to indicate if their AR/VR, er, spatial computing apps contain movements like quick turns or sudden changes in camera perspective. That way, the product page will show a badge to warn users. It also described the use of privacy labels and game controllers. As mentioned, the Apple Vision Pro headset arrives on February 2 for $3,495 — a price likely to attract only highly motivated buyers.

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