A day before it’s due to hit store shelves, Apple has announced that 600 apps have been designed and coded specifically for its Vision Pro headset. That’s more than the 500 that launched with the original iPhone and suggests there could be a strong ecosystem of apps ready to choose from for anyone who shells out for Apple’s headset.
Among those apps is the modestly-named Shortcut Buttons by developer Finn Voorhees. Yet despite its unassuming name, this ingenious little app could be a real timesaver for Vision Pro users, and aptly demonstrates some of the clever ways people can put Apple’s device to use.
That’s because it adds virtual buttons to your environment that launch workflows created in Apple’s Shortcuts app. That means you could pin one in your kitchen that does something as simple as starting a timer. Or put one next to your computer that hops you right into a meeting.
The app takes advantage of the Vision Pro’s augmented reality abilities by overlaying its buttons on top of the real world. So, as you wander around your home with the headset on, you’ll see the buttons wherever you’ve placed them, and they’ll essentially become part of the furniture. That makes them unobtrusive while still having a ton of utility.
Perfect for Vision Pro
Shortcut Buttons’ power rests on the flexibility of Apple’s Shortcuts app. Shortcuts lets you string together commands into incredibly powerful workflows, and as the name suggests, the resulting tools can save you a bunch of time. Shortcut Buttons takes that idea and marries it to the Vision Pro in a way that no other Apple platform could manage.
It’s one of the more intriguing apps coming to the Vision Pro, but there are plenty more to choose from. Apple’s press release covering the 600 new apps highlighted a few that look to be standout offerings, including the Sky Guide and Night Sky stargazing apps, the Microsoft 365 productivity suite, the Zoom and Webex video-calling apps, and a bunch of others.
Apple’s Vision Pro goes on sale tomorrow for $3,499 (around £2,730 / AU$5,330), but it opened for pre-orders on January 19. According to some estimates, the company sold upwards of 200,000 pre-order units – more than the 60,000 to 80,000 units it was predicted Apple had manufactured – suggesting a high level of interest.
With a large range of apps to choose from, there’s no doubt Apple will be hoping that interest is maintained as more developers release their works over the coming weeks and months.
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Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.