Macworld’s Jason Cross sounds like he’s taking an approach along somewhat similar lines to my Apple product diaries with his Vision Pro review, saying that he’s going to take time before giving a verdict – and in the meantime share some of his early take-outs.
His initial thoughts describe some of the things that most impress him about the device – and some of the biggest problems he’s encountered so far …
Cross calls the work-in-progress findings Notes from the future.
What’s great about Vision Pro
He says the core experience just blows all previous devices out of the water – like the mix of eye-tracking and hand gestures. Meta headsets offer that too, as an alternative to the physical controllers, but Cross says Apple’s implementation is simply, well, untouchable.
Nothing does hand-tracking this well in a consumer device. The eye tracking is magic.
Similarly, the way that virtual windows seem every bit as real as physical objects.
There are definitely times when you can see “the future” in this device. This idea of computing resources just hanging in the air, or on a wall, as steady and clear as any real object would be […] I just can’t get over how well-anchored virtual objects and windows are. They are rock-solid and steady. Those floating windows are there, man. They are real.
That includes the Mac virtual monitor, which he says has too much latency for gaming, but is otherwise “awesome.”
He does, though, have quite a lengthy list of issues and missing features. Top of these is the weight, and front-heavy center of gravity, which he blames on Apple’s “pathological aversion to plastic.” Using metal and plastic may create a great premium feel, but it’s just too heavy.
He’s unimpressed with the app grid, App Store, and keyboard.
The app management is bad: A honeycomb grid of non-moveable round icons in alphabetical order? The App Store is too basic, it needs proper categories and lists. Why does this $3,500 spatial computer have a Fisher Price My First Keyboard?
He also says it lacks Mac-like window-management tools, so multitasking is slower and clunkier than on a Mac. Similarly, with the majority of Vision Pro apps being just the iPad app without optimisation, he says he prefers the Mac versions when it comes to productivity apps.
As highlighted in The Verge’s review, Cross says passthrough video is good, but not good enough.
This is the best passthrough video I’ve ever seen and it’s still not good enough. In really bright light it’s just a little off, but the resolution, noise, latency, and motion blur increase greatly as your surroundings get darker. The everyday lighting in my home produces poor results unless I crank up all the lights.
On another practical note, he found he needed to remove the headset just to take a sip of coffee.
He’s mystified by the lack of Find My support.
How does Vision Pro not support Find My? There’s not even a Find My app, for which precision finding seems like a natural fit with augmented reality. Apple could literally draw a trail through the environment leading you right to your AirTag or iPhone.
You can read his full list of wins and losses over at Macworld.
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