YouTube and Spotify join Netflix in a cautious stance, choosing not to release apps for Apple’s forthcoming mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro.

YouTube, in a statement on January 18, 2024, announced its decision to forgo a dedicated app, recommending users access content through a web browser. Spotify similarly has no plans for a Vision Pro app and won’t enable its iPad app for the device’s launch, though it will remain accessible through a web browser.

This joint decision by YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix means three major streaming apps will be absent when the Vision Pro launches on February 2, raising concerns about the device’s initial content ecosystem despite access to Apple’s competing music and podcast apps. Notably, YouTube’s absence is significant, considering its historical inclusion in Apple devices since the original iPad in 2010.

While YouTube and Spotify continue to offer popular iPhone and iPad apps, their hesitancy to support the Vision Pro is surprising, especially given the streamlined process for developers with existing iPad software in the App Store.

As of last weekend, the Vision Pro’s App Store has only 150+ apps optimized for its functionalities, a fraction of the extensive App Store’s 1.8 million apps. This suggests a measured response from developers, despite the device theoretically supporting iOS and iPad apps.

Despite YouTube and Spotify’s decisions, other entertainment apps like Disney+, Max, Peacock, ESPN, and Amazon Prime Video remain committed to the Vision Pro. Apple claims the device will support over one million titles in its App Store, with preorders beginning on Friday.

YouTube and Spotify haven’t provided specific reasons for their decisions, and while Spotify’s past disputes with Apple over App Store policies are not believed to be a factor, the landscape of supported apps may evolve as the Vision Pro launch approaches. Key developers, including Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are yet to confirm their decisions.

Apple’s executive overseeing the Vision Pro anticipates the device playing a significant role in healthcare, technician training, education, and potentially corporate applications. This marks Apple’s first major venture into a new product category since introducing smartwatches in 2015.

Written by: Noel Nortei


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