Data-Driven Choices — Building for Apple Vision Pro

Tyler Hackbart
Juice Box Monkey Designs
4 min readMay 10, 2024

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Data-Driven Choices — Build for Apple Vision Pro

The data-driven decision at hand involves considering the risks associated with developing or supporting a new application for the Apple Vision Pro. Juice Box Monkey Designs have been creating apps for the Apple ecosystem for nearly half a decade. Even before the Vision Pro was announced, the potential for work and platform-specific capabilities seemed limitless. The Vision Pro has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.

The most important factor to consider is how your users interact with your apps. With the advancements Apple has made with the M line chips, creating a universal app is now a simple task in some cases.

Here are the primary considerations we made before deciding to develop a Vision Pro app.

Device Specific

Apple’s M line of chips has enabled them to create a universal app that works on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac with the same code base. This was also considered when introducing the Vision Pro. It wasn’t approached like developing for the Apple Watch or Apple TV, but for the major lines, making it easier for developers to support the Vision Pro.

This means supporting Vision Pro in an existing app is as simple as ticking a checkbox in Xcode. Which will mimic almost like an iPad screen hovering in the air.

Now there is potential user base of over 2.2 billion active Apple products worldwide, many of that percent being the major line, so supporting Vision Pro apps just extend that percent of potential users.

Unit Numbers Bad! (Oh wait maybe not)

Justifying the Vision Pro can be a bit more challenging for newcomers. If you value customer experience, you’ll likely take time to support the unique experiences that only the Vision Pro can offer. However, skepticism about the unit numbers of Vision Pro is prevalent in tech blogs. Although Apple hasn’t revealed unit numbers, I believe there are two primary reasons for this.

  1. Apple hasn’t done this for quite some time, so it would be sort of strange to just start doing it
  2. There is a limit of US only market right now

If we look back at first-generation product lines, their initial numbers weren’t particularly impressive either. However, this doesn’t mean they didn’t become hugely successful in later generations.

First year sales of Apple product lines

Even if Apple has only sold 200,000 units of the first generation so far, this is mainly due to the current limitation of the US market. Once it expands to other countries, there will be a broader access to Vision Pro. This is a new area for sure, but not a complete one just yet.

Operating System Support Longevity

Another area that Apple doesn’t sway away from is the support of older devices. This can be clearly seen in almost every version of OS that Apple makes.

Support for iOS 17 extends back to the iPhone Xs, a model from 2018. This is a significant technological gap from where we stand in 2024, yet Apple still chooses to support later devices. It’s reassuring to know that a Vision Pro app created today will still function on a device from 5–6 years from now.

Operating System Backward Compatibility Breakdown

Ground Floor Perspective

Notably, a new platform implies less competition. Similar to other device launches, your app is likely to receive more downloads if it’s designed for this specific device. There’s also the chance to be promoted by Apple in newsletters or featured on the App Store for the device, presenting a higher opportunity than on other well-established platforms.

These were all the areas we considered when deciding to put a Vision Pro app on our roadmap. Not just an extension app of what we currently have created, something new and for the Vision experience.

More details on that in the future… 😊

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