Google is reportedly working on a YouTube app for the Apple Vision Pro. According to The Verge’s Nilay Patel, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed in an email that the video-streaming platform plans to build a dedicated Vision Pro app that is expected to support Apple’s Spatial Video feature.
For the time being, YouTube will be optimized for the Safari browser on the Vision Pro. Despite Apple’s $3,500 headset launching with over 600 native apps, YouTube and Netflix said they had no plans for a Vision Pro app soon.
YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix all declined to allow their iPad apps to run on the Vision Pro before launch. Porting iPad apps was seen as a quick and easy way for developers to get their software up and running on Apple’s spatial computing device.
Google Working on YouTube App for Apple Vision Pro
However, the company made a U-turn on its decision after developer Christian Selig created an unofficial YouTube app for the headset called Juno, which was available to users when the device was launched.
In a blog post, Selig wrote that he was disappointed when YouTube announced that they don’t have plans to build a VisionOS app and also disabled the option to load the iPad app. He noted that Vision Pro users will still be able to use YouTube through Safari, but the website “definitely” does not feel like an app built for the device.
Selig is a former Apple developer and creator of one of the most popular unofficial Reddit apps for iOS before it was killed off by the company’s controversial API rules.
3D and 360 YouTube Videos May Not be Supported on the Vision Pro
Another thing that lacks clarity is how YouTube plans to support its large library of 360 and VR videos on the Vision Pro. The video streaming platform has supported 3D formats since 2011 and 360 videos since 2016 but none of those seem to work on the Vision Pro.
When The Verge’s Nilay Patel asked Apple whether 360 and 3D YouTube videos would ever work on the Vision Pro, a company spokesperson replied that the content wasn’t simply good enough as they were created for devices that do not deliver a high-quality spatial experience.
YouTube also declined to comment on whether the upcoming app for Vision Pro will support VR and 360 videos.
A lot of Vision Pro owners also noticed that other kinds of VR content don’t work on the headset, such as 360 and VR pornographic videos. According to Apple, this is because Safari’s WebXR open standard is relatively new and doesn’t yet take full advantage of the “power, performance, and interaction capabilities” of the Vision Pro and the visionOS.
Apple Sells 180,000 Vision Pros During Opening Weekend
Despite the hefty price tag, Vision Pro has been selling like hotcakes, with Apple’s most loyal and deep-pocketed fans quickly scooping all the pre-orders.
According to estimates by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company has sold somewhere between 160,000 and 180,000 headsets during its opening weekend.