Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims iOS 16 beta builds are “chock-full of references” to Apple’s upcoming headset.
In 2021 Bloomberg, The Information, and supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released reports claiming Apple is preparing to release a premium headset for VR and AR with high resolution color passthrough. Recent notes from Kuo claim this headset will weigh significantly less than Meta’s Quest 2, feature dual 4K OLED microdisplays, and use a new chip with “similar computing power as the M1 for Mac”.
Gurman now says iOS 16 beta code not only references the headset but also “its interactions with the iPhone”, suggesting Apple plans strong ecosystem integration with its existing devices. He goes on to speculate:
“That indicates that the headset will launch during the iOS 16 cycle, which kicks off in June and will last until iOS 17 comes in the fall of 2023. But it may also suggest that Apple could preview some of its upcoming augmented and virtual reality software earlier. Perhaps we could even get a peek at the headset’s rOS, short for reality operating system.”
As far back as 2017, Bloomberg reported Apple was working on a new operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system”.
In December Apple posted a job listing for ‘AR/VR Frameworks Engineer’, with the role described as “developing an entirely new application paradigm” for “software that is deeply integrated into our operating systems”.
In January, iOS Developer Rens Verhoeven spotted a new platform “com.apple.platform.realityos” in the App Store app upload logs. A few weeks later “award-winning git repository surgeon” Nicolás Álvarez spotted Apple committing code to its open source GitHub repository referencing ‘TARGET_FEATURE_REALITYOS’ and ‘realityOS_simulator’ – the latter likely a feature to allow developers without the headset to test building AR or VR applications.