Apple’s highly anticipated mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, is set to launch soon, promising a groundbreaking experience for users. However, concerns arise about the lack of native app support from some high-profile developers, including streaming giant Netflix. Instead of developing a dedicated version for the Vision Pro, Netflix has chosen to allow its existing iPad app to run on the headset unmodified. This decision raises questions about the user experience and features available to Netflix subscribers on the Vision Pro.
Netflix’s Reticence and Apple’s Struggle:
In Bloomberg’s Power On newsletter, tech journalist Mark Gurman discusses Netflix’s lack of enthusiasm in developing native support for the Vision Pro. The headset’s starting price of $3,500 and projected limited first-year sales may have contributed to hesitancy among developers to invest resources in creating exclusive content for the new platform. Additionally, third-party apps have proven to be a challenge for Meta, Apple’s main competitor in the mixed reality space.
Netflix’s History with Apple:
Netflix’s decision not to support Apple’s in-app purchasing system (IAP) and lack of AirPlay support on its iOS and iPad apps have been points of contention between the two tech giants. Moreover, Netflix does not allow subscriptions to be made through Apple TV channels, which further reflects the company’s cautious approach to Apple’s ecosystem.
The iPad App on Vision Pro:
With Netflix opting to run its iPad app on the Vision Pro, users may have concerns about the overall experience. While the app may suffice for basic streaming needs, there could be potential limitations, bugs, or missing features compared to native streaming apps developed specifically for the headset. Netflix’s choice could be a pragmatic one, leveraging its existing app library to quickly provide content to Vision Pro users without substantial modifications.
App Development Landscape for Vision Pro:
Despite Netflix’s reticence, other major players, such as Disney Plus, Zoom, and Microsoft, have committed to developing software for the Vision Pro. The headset will have access to a vast library of iPad apps at launch, ensuring a variety of content choices for early adopters. However, Gurman speculates that Vision Pro apps may be priced higher than their iPhone and iPad counterparts, with professional apps potentially ranging from $50 to $250. Gaming apps could also command premium prices, catering to the early adopter tech enthusiast crowd.
As the launch of Apple’s Vision Pro approaches, the lack of native app support from major developers like Netflix raises questions about the platform’s overall appeal and content availability. While Netflix’s decision to utilize its iPad app could provide immediate access to a wide range of content, the long-term success of the Vision Pro may depend on how well it can attract high-profile developers and create a compelling ecosystem of exclusive and optimized experiences. As users await the headset’s release, the tech community eagerly anticipates the impact of Apple’s ambitious venture into mixed reality.