Apple’s newly-launched Vision Pro comes with a guest mode, but it appears to be frustratingly limited. It seems that (rather reluctantly), Apple has included a “Guest User” mode to let users share their shiny new device with family and friends without having to give them access to your personal information and data. That said, if you hope it’ll be like guest modes on other devices we’ve become accustomed to, you’ll need to think again.
While friends and family will be able to experience the magic of the Vision Pro on a user’s device, according to 9to5Mac the device won’t store any of their settings. This will no doubt be disappointing for anyone who got it hoping to be able to share it with a group - such as with the rest of their family. Also, Guest Mode will allow you to “share specific apps and experiences with family and friends,” which sounds like the ability to share may not extend to all apps.
So, guest users will only have limited settings and app capabilities, settings will not be stored from any sessions, and the Vision Pro won’t actually even save guest calibration data. If a guest wants to use a specific user’s Vision Pro other than their own, they’ll have to go through the process of calibrating eye tracking, hand scanning, and pairing ZEISS Optical Inserts every time.
Possible concerns ahead for the Vision Pro
This isn’t due to a technical limitation either, Apple chose to have it be this way. If a friend or family member just wants to give it a spin and try it, this isn’t so bad. However, with a $3,500 price tag, some people probably bought it hoping to be able to share it with people they live with.
This Guest Mode makes it tough to do so, and puts users and guests off of using it like this multiple times. As far as we know, that’s how things stand for now - you can have one main user account, plus the built-in Guest Mode, but there's no option to create separate accounts (guest or otherwise).
While not totally unheard of for Apple, I can imagine this being disappointing news for some recipients of the Vision Pro. For example, the iPad doesn’t have guest-sharing specific features, but this doesn’t really hinder sharing the iPad with people, and a guest mode probably doesn’t add as much to it. To be able to use the Vision Pro at all, you have to at least calibrate it to your face and eyes, so it’s a different story.
We await the Vision Pro’s arrival in US stores on February 2 and reviewers have already started posting their first impressions of the device. I can see this becoming a real drawback that users get vocal about - but would it convince Apple to change the guest mode? Because this is a bold first-gen launch for Apple, users are willing to let its vision develop and give it a chance. Hopefully Apple doesn’t burn through that good will.
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Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.
She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.