There are No New Apps for the Apple Vision Pro...

There's no easy way to say this but the Apple Vision Pro isn't the hit we all wanted it to be. I'm sure that'll change with time, but right now it's not a user destination and in turn, isn't even a developer destination.

Let me show you why I say that with such certainty:

Using Explorer, I counted the number of new Vision-only apps released by week since Apple started accepting submissions back in January.

But before we start analyzing the trend - there are currently 523 Vision-only apps available for download using eye movement. Before you say "But Apple says there are more", I'll clarify that I'm focusing on apps dedicated to the Apple Vision Pro and not counting apps that are released for the Vision along with another platform, like iOS. There are 1,288 of those, and they are existing iOS apps that added support for the Vision. Nice, but not relevant to this analysis.

Utilities, Entertainment, and Productivity are the categories with the most apps with Games tied for 3rd place right now. For context, on the App Store, it's Utilities, Entertainment, and Productivity. And Games are a proper fourth.

But here's a bigger difference - price. Right now, about half of all Vision-only apps are paid. Half! On the App Store, paid apps are just 4% of all apps and games. The two aren't comparable.

When Apple opened up submissions back in January, developers shipped 73 new apps and games in the first week. That actually aligned with releases on the Mac App Store (71 that week) so I plotted those, too.

New releases rose to 82 in week two and then nearly doubled to 150 in week three as developers coveted the day-one release rush and Apple's review team prioritized Vision apps. And then the Apple Vision Pro came out. That's where the trend changed.

Once the actual device started thipping new app releases started slowing down exponentially, ending with just one new app in the last week of March.

Apple's review team had to get back to other apps so that slowed things down. But that's probably not it.

Everyone I know has a theory for why this is, but I have a few. Here's what I think is choking the Vision right now and whether it even makes sense to develop for the Vision right now:

  1. Having a device made it easier for developers to see why some of their simpler ideas simply won't work, which wasn't possible before it shipped, and that's why there are a bunch of little apps no one will ever download on the Vision.
  2. The device is so expensive many developers won't be able to reason buying one and if they aren't buying it the odds of having enough consumers to buy apps drop pretty fast, making it not worth the effort.
  3. The Vision isn't great for the general population at all. The camera quality might be amazing for watching movies but terrible for interacting with reality. I say that from my own experience + what I'm seeing online. That means app usage time and retention are going to be low.

Most developers are waiting to see what will happen. And I think that's the best approach right now for most. There are use cases that make the Vision amazing, and building for those specific use cases can be great. That's just not many of those.

As a developer, do you agree? If not, please tell me why and what you're building.

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