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realityOS — what we expect from Apple’s VR/AR headset software


This is what we’re hoping for in Apple’s next mixed reality app.

Elijah Nouvelage / reuters

While the anticipated Apple VR/AR headset is receiving a lot of attention, there’s also a lot of speculation about the software that will power the experience.

RealityOS (or perhaps rOS) will play a significant role in utilising Apple’s first mixed reality headset, just as iOS does. Even more importantly, it could be what sets Apple’s AR/VR headset apart from the top VR headsets now on the market.


RealityOS looks to be the working name or branding for Apple’s next operating system, as evidenced by the company’s recent trademark filing for the term.

This doesn’t mean we won’t hear speculations about realityOS before the headset launches in 2023 or that we won’t see the headset’s software before. That’s why we’ve compiled all of the information we have here.

realityOS possible release date 

There are two possibilities for when realityOS will be released or launched, in our opinion. For starters, both realityOS and the Apple mixed reality headset will be available at launch. Apple analysts have quashed rumours that the headgear will be unveiled at WWDC 2022 on June 6, but if you’re still interested in the other software news, we’ve put together a guide on how you can watch the event live.


Alternatively, Apple may announce realityOS along with other software updates, hinting to the headset’s impending appearance. To reveal too much about the headset’s capabilities would be a mistake, but it’s not impossible that Apple might make an announcement about AR or VR connections with iOS, watchOS or other software products. If Apple wants third-party apps for its AR/VR devices to be available at launch, developers will require access to rOS in advance.

realityOS and Apple AR/VR headset

For Apple’s aspirations in the mixed reality field thus far, we know much more about hardware than software. The hardware is most likely the Apple AR/VR headset, which is expected to debut before Apple Glasses and compete with the Oculus Quest 2 and even Meta’s planned Project Cambria.

RealityOS mentions in iOS 16 could indicate that Apple is working on an AR/VR headset. Because we intend the headset to work with Apple’s existing devices, we’ll need rOS support on those devices.

(Image credit: Antonio DeRosa)

If Apple has showed off the headset to investors, it’s a solid hint that the gadget is nearing its official release date. If realityOS or other software prototypes were shown, it’s unclear.

realityOS features we want to see

In contrast to the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, we have no idea what a product or programme lacks until we use it. To that end, we have a few requests for realityOS.

If the Apple headset can be integrated with Apple Fitness Plus and the Apple Watch, it might be a game changer when it comes to staying fit. You might track your progress while working out with a personal trainer using the device. Isn’t it unnecessary to go to the gym?


We’d like to see an Apple TV app included into rOS like Apple Fitness Plus. Apple TV Plus’s virtual reality shows could be viewed in this way. Virtual reality material or aspects could be added to the finest series and movies available on Apple TV Plus for headset users.

Adding third-party app complications or widgets to the realityOS home screen is something we’d want to see, much like the many watch faces and widgets available on the Apple Watch and the iPhone. That way, we can view all the information we need at a glance.

We expect that realityOS will make the Apple VR/AR headset feel like an extension of other Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It would be out of character for Apple to release products that don’t effortlessly integrate with the iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and more. We’d like to see “hand-off” options for apps like FaceTime, Messages, Apple Arcade, and Apple News.


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