The Vision Will Ship With +1M Apps - But Only a Handful are "Native"

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read Jan. 26

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Can You See It?. Check out the full article for more insights.


Apple's newest device is coming in just a few days and to succeed where others have not (yet?), Apple not only had to make a superior device but also ensure there's a big ecosystem around it to make it useful.

Naturally, the Vision Pro needs apps built for it that take advantage of its immersive capabilities. According to our data, which we collect directly from the App Store, there are a little over 300 apps that have done that either as a standalone app or as an update to an existing app.

The biggest category by number of apps is currently Utilities, followed by Productivity, Entertainment, Education, and Health & Fitness. Together, the top five categories are responsible for roughly 50% of all new apps made for the Vision Pro.

The list includes some of my favorite apps like Fantastical, Fruit Ninja, Streaks, Waterminder, a slew of Apple's own apps, and, of course, Zoom.

It's a nice list, but obviously not enough to make a device "no one needs at a price most can't afford" into a best seller. For that, Apple tapped into one of its best assets - the App Store.

It did that by making visionOS, the operating system for the Vision Pro, run iOS and iPadOS apps right out of the box with minimal/no changes needed from the developers.

Doing that grew the number of available apps several orders of magnitude to over a million!

But... Apple also lets developers opt out of having their iOS and iPadOS apps available in the Vision App Store.

I expected the number of opt-outs to be minimal. After all, why would anyone say no to free exposure?

Well... you'd be surprised.

According to our data, 305K apps and games have opted out of being available on the Vision App Store.

More than I expected, and there's no one specific category that's doing this. It's relatively well distributed across the entire store.

Education apps are leading the charge and make up 12% of apps that won't launch with the Vision Pro. Business and Utilities follow with 9% each, Lifestyle with 8%, and Health & Fitness, arguably one of the most suitable categories for the Vision, with a 6% share.

And the list includes many names you might recognize, like Amazon Kindle, Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Google Docs, and even Walmart. Shopping apps choosing to opt out makes little sense to me considering the target audience for the Vision Pro.

Helped by my Twitter followers, here are three reasons why an app would opt out:

  1. Some apps can't run on visionOS without substantial modifications. Apps that rely heavily on the iPhone's capabilities tend to be in that group and their developers may want to release a separate app instead of updating their iOS version which takes time.
  2. Because testing on an actual device is nearly impossible for most developers, some prefer to wait until a device is available and test natively before giving their users a broken experience.
  3. And lastly, several companies are in a constant battle with Apple over the business side of things. Naturally, they wouldn't want to help Apple launch a new device as a form of protest. There aren't many, but they're big.

Some bigger companies are also really slow to adopt new technologies "thanks" to layers of bureaucracy, but I didn't have that as a reason because I think it's a lousy excuse.

Bottom line: Apple's ecosystem is massive and day-one Vision Pro users will have lots of apps and games to play with.

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The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #apple #vr

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