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Apple released its visionOS SDK and developer tools on Wednesday, along with more info about developing for Apple Vision Pro. Here’s an overview of what it is, what it can do, and how to get started.
Apple’s SDK for the Apple Vision Pro is included in the second Xcode beta. It includes Command Line Tools for Xcode 15 beta 2, Font Tools for Xcode 15 beta, and the visionOS 1 Beta Simulator Runtime, which is packaged as a .dmg disk image file.
To get the new SDK and Xcode beta files, go to developer.apple.com/download/ and log in with your Apple ID. These tools are included in the new free developer membership.
How to install Apple Vision Pro developer software
You’ll need the Xcode 15 beta 2 download, which contains the Xcode 15 beta 2 app itself, macOS 14 beta 2, and assorted simulators. You’ll also want the Command Line Tools for Xcode 15 beta 2, and the Xcode 15 beta 2 which also contains macOS 14 beta 2.
If you haven’t previously, also download the Font Tools for Xcode 15 beta at the bottom of the page released on June 5th.
When downloading Xcode 15 beta 2, be sure to check the visionOS beta 1 checkbox at the bottom of the list, which weighs in at a whopping 6.85GB:
Note that in all cases you do need the iOS download components as well.
This provides the what Apple is still calling the xrOS 1.0.simruntime file on a .dmg which you import into Xcode to install the visionOS simulator (more on this below).
Additional downloads for Apple Vision Pro developer software
The learning curve for visionOS can be quite steep – crossing several computing disciplines in addition to mere programing. These include 3D object and scene design, Augmented Reality (AR), materials and surfaces, and lighting and rendering.
In addition to the Xcode pieces, you’ll want to learn and grab a few additional items used by Apple’s AR ecosystem:
- ARKit 6
- Reality Composer app
- AR Quick Look plugin for 3D object file previews
Most of these are available on Apple’s developer site at developer.apple.com/augmented-reality/