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The Apple Vision Pro has finally hit the streets. During launch day, it was estimated that Apple sold around 200,000 units of Vision Pro and expected to hit 500,000 units by the end of the year. Quite impressive considering it is a $3,500 device, one of the most expensive devices that Apple makes. Right now Vision Pro is only available in the USA and new markets like Europe, China, and Japan will be rolled out by the end of the year.
Here is a collection of reviews of the Apple Vision Pro throughout the web and here is what the reviewers say about the Vision Pro.
Joanna Stern of Wall Street Journal
Joanna Stern is one of the few people blessed with having a review unit by Apple and in tradition, she wore Vision Pro for 24 hours straight (except when sleeping). She has done this kind of stint with the Meta Quest (living in Metaverse for 24 hours) so what she’s doing is not out of character.
From the review, she remarked that it’s the best cooking computer, one of the biggest features is putting multiple timers on top of a pot. Persona is both an impressive and unfinished product. Hair rendering is a big issue in Persona.
The Verge has one of the best early coverage of the Vision Pro. The Verge said it best about the Vision Pro:
It's magic until it's not. The Vision Pro is unlike any other VR device on the market, but you can see that there is so much potential and so much polishing that needs to be done. This is true with almost all new Apple products where it has a great first impression effect, but Apple polishes up the product over time.
The Verge praises the spatial windowing system, saying that it brings computing to a new level. Some that have mixed reviews is the macOS mirroring: what’s good is having a big 4K display, but only one display can be shown at the moment.
The Verge concludes that it is an incredible display, has an amazing ecosystem, and is quite useful. What The Verge didn’t like about Vision Pro is that it is a solitary device, not good in a collaborative environment.
The legendary Youtube reviewer MKBHD dropped two videos, one which details the unboxing experience and another is a 30-minute review (three times longer than normal) about Vision Pro.
It’s a typical detailed unboxing video. One thing to note is that there’s a lot of stuff that Apple gives for the Vision Pro, in contrast with the
cost-cutting green initiative that Apple does for their other products like iPhones and Macs.
Undoubtedly a very long review in contrast with his other product review video. 10 minutes are spent just to talk about the physical properties of the device. Another 10 is to talk concepts about spatial computing and Apple’s vision for it and how it envisions itself in this product, the Vision Pro.
The final 10 minutes is what MKBHD thinks about the device. Yes, it’s revolutionary but at the same time, there are a few gaps that need to be filled up through software. One of the best use cases for MKBHD is using it in an airplane where you can have a personal environment without anyone looking at your screen.
MKBHD dropped another more in-depth video about the Vision Pro. It’s not about how to use it or anything, but talking high-level concepts about the new computing paradigm of Vision Pro. The conclusion that this product, like all Apple products before it, has the pitfalls of 1st gen devices and over time Apple fix it and that product become the blockbuster of the world. Think of iPhone, iPad, AirPods and Apple Watch. It has the same breakthrough features that Apple brings that many of the pitfalls is often overlooked.
iJustine video is a mix of unboxing, talking about the device, and a demo of the device. There’s another video detailing about use experience of the device.
Tom’s Guide talks about Vision Pro that is one-of-a-kind device that has no equal on the market yet. This is because the Vision Pro’s strong suit is the combination of hardware and software. Its hand/eye tracking is amazing and Apple’s ecosystem is what makes Vision Pro stand out from the rest of the VR headsets.
He notes that Vision Pro sets the stage for what Apple wants in the future. He believes that Apple will add more features and expand its market share by introducing lower-priced versions of the Vision.
He remarked that the Vision Pro is one of Apple’s most innovative products since the iPhone.
Brian Tong gave an extensive demo of visionOS and what you can do with it. He remarks that the interaction is very natural. One of the neat tricks that he shared is while using Vision Pro to mirror your macOS laptop, you can move the cursor in macOS and out to visionOS to control the environment in visionOS. This feature was introduced as Sidecar in iPadOS and it is interesting to see it in action in visionOS.
One of the best demos of the visionOS app is the NBA app where he shows that he can have up to 5 streams of NBA plays in one go. It takes the sports experience to another level.
Nick Bilton, a special correspondent of Vanity Fair has spent some time with Apple CEO Tim Cook and the Vision Pro. It has a back story about the genesis of Vision Pro where Tim Cook wore an early prototype of the Vision Pro around 6-8 years ago. Here are a few quotes from the article
What Cook didn’t know is how his engineers were going to take this thing that needs a supercomputer in another room, and fans and multiple screens, and shrink it down to the size of a pair of goggles that weighs a little more than a box of spaghetti. “I’ve known for years we would get here,” Cook told me. “I didn’t know when, but I knew that we would arrive here.”
This [the Vision Pro] was as far from a VR headset as a kid’s Schwinn bicycle is from a Gulfstream G800 private jet.
When I take it [the Vision Pro] off, every other device feels flat and boring: My 75-inch OLED TV feels like a CRT from the ’90s; my iPhone feels like a flip phone from yesteryear, and even the real world around me feels surprisingly flat. And this is the problem. In the same way that I can’t imagine driving a car without a stereo, in the same way I can’t imagine not having a phone to communicate with people or take pictures of my children, in the same way I can’t imagine trying to work without a computer, I can see a day when we all can’t imagine living without an augmented reality. When we’re enveloped more and more by technology, to the point that we crave these glasses like a drug, like we crave our iPhones today but with more desire for the dopamine hit this resolution of AR can deliver.
Legendary Youtuber Casey Neistat puts on Vision Pro and run around Manhattan, NYC for the day, using the Vision Pro while doing what New Yorkers do: riding the Subway, go eat at donut at Krispy Kreme and hang out at Times Square while watching Mr Beast videos, responding to iMessage, and surfing Safari while people looked on. After 12 hours using it, he found something profound:
This is not the future of AR or VR, this is the future interface of all computing. I think went they figure out how they make this not be heavy, $4,000 metal ski goggles and maybe look like these [Ray Band glasses that he’s always wearing] or smaller, that is what it will be.
For years, the public has been complaining about tech products has been stagnating lately with companies making the same devices with little improvements year-over-year. Well, today the industry is changing with several new out-of-the-box thinking products out in recent months. And one of them is the Vision Pro.
The consensus is Vision Pro is an impressive product, but it is still a version 1 product with problems that Apple is expected to tackle like price, weight, and ecosystem of apps. One thing for certain, the future is an augmented reality where windows are floating around and we are interacting with objects that are not in reality.
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