Want to create an app for the Vision Pro? You’ll need a Silicon-based Mac

Apple has announced a crucial requirement for developers eager to create apps for the upcoming Vision Pro – the need for an Apple Silicon Mac. This development has sparked discussions and speculation about the underlying reasons and implications for the tech giant’s broader strategy.

Vision Pro

Developers are required to use M1, M2, or M3 Macs for Vision Pro apps

The revelation coincided with the release of Xcode 15.2, a significant update facilitating developers in submitting their visionOS apps. While Xcode 15.2 remains compatible with Intel Macs, the visionOS SDK explicitly demands a Mac equipped with M1, M2, M3, or their advanced System on a Chip (SoC) variants.

Apple has not explicitly provided reasons for this limitation, but speculations suggest potential performance and compatibility issues on Intel-powered Macs running the visionOS SDK. It is also conceivable that this move aligns with Apple’s gradual phasing out of Intel Macs, a process initiated with macOS Sonoma dropping support for several Intel-based Macs last year.

Vision Pro apps

The updated guidelines on Apple’s website underscore the necessity of Apple Silicon for visionOS app development. Developers are encouraged to adopt SwiftUI when creating new apps, leveraging the immersive capabilities of visionOS. 

Developing for visionOS requires a Mac with Apple silicon. Create new apps using SwiftUI to take full advantage of the spectrum of immersion available in visionOS. If you have an existing iPad or iPhone app, add the visionOS destination to your app’s target to gain access to the standard system appearance, and add platform-specific features to create a compelling experience. To provide continuous access to your content in the meantime, deliver a compatible version of your app that runs in visionOS.

Notably, Apple suggests describing apps as “spatial computing apps,” departing from conventional terms like AR, VR, XR, or MR.

visionOS is the operating system that powers Apple Vision Pro. Use visionOS together with familiar tools and technologies to build immersive apps and games for spatial computing.

With the impending launch of the Apple Vision Pro on February 2, available for pre-order starting January 19, the requirement for an Apple Silicon Mac signals Apple’s unwavering commitment to its in-house chip architecture. The base model, priced at $3,499 without prescription lenses, reflects the company’s dedication to pushing forward with its proprietary technology.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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