On the latest episode of one of my favorite developer podcasts, Under The Radar, the hosts (Marco and David) were discussing Apple Vision, Apple's new spatial computing platform. It's a topic I'm interested in because I'm curious how different developers are approaching the new platform. Are they investing time in it? Do they think it has a viable future? And of course, I need to make a decision on whether or not I will personally be investing any of my time in it (which I'll get to later).
Anyway, on the podcast, Marco described developing for the new platform as risky, comparing it to investing in crypto, citing the small market for the headset while David mostly went on about how to approach the upcoming developer labs, providing somewhat of a field guid for those fortunate enough to be invited, which is something you'd only be interested in if you're actively building for the platform (because I believe only people who've got some kind of proof of concept will be invited to the labs). From what I can tell, Marco is keeping Vision at arms length while David is on the spectrum of “all-in”. This is a similar mixed sentiment from what I’ve seen from devs elsewhere.
Personally I'm taking a wait-and-see approach. I agree that investing in the platform now would be risky and I don't have any ideas on what I'd build anyway. As a consumer, I'm not interested in purchasing the headset for myself, so why would I be interested in developing for it?
Perhaps this is comparing apples to oranges but I owned a Meta Quest 2 for some time. It was fun for a while. I played Gorn and Beat Saber, which were the only games I enjoyed but after a while it ended up collecting dust on a shelf and ultimately, I sold it. Also, I got motion sickness when playing anything that required controller-based movement which seems like a pretty major impediment to mass adoption.
I question whether virtual-reality devices will ever achieve mass appeal at the level of personal computers, let alone smart phones or the web. As a developer of niche software I want a platform with exposure to the biggest and most diverse market possible to increase my odds of success. For me that’s iOS and Mac apps. So I’ll just continue developing for those platforms while simply keeping an eye on Vision (pardon the pun).