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Happy New Year, everyone! 🎉

If you pay attention to the rumours, this is definitely the year that Apple releases a VR headset… Or AR glasses… Or maybe upgraded AirPods with more AR functionality. Or possibly just a new phone with a holographic sticker on the back that says “AR Inside!”.

Is it obvious I don’t love the leaks and rumour cycle? 😬

But let’s talk about it for a second. It’s crystal clear that Apple has their eyes firmly focused on AR. Tim Cook has repeatedly gone on record saying it’s an area they’ve been interested in for five years now, and we don’t even need to talk about the amounts of engineering effort they’re putting into AR-related developer tools and frameworks.

Yet the dominant rumour at the moment seems to be about a VR or mixed reality headset. I don’t think that Apple creating a full VR headset makes much sense, so let’s not even talk about that. Mixed reality makes more sense, especially if that product is an internal prototyping device rather than a consumer product. Suppose you have multiple teams of people working on realityOS (rOS? ArrrOS? 🏴‍☠️). They need some way to work without having access to the finished product, both for secrecy reasons and because it isn’t… finished. 😂

It makes much more sense to think about the recent rumours of a mixed reality headset as something that might have leaked out of a wider group of people working on the vast amount of supporting technologies a “proper” AR product would need, rather than being an actual product itself.

The main reason I don’t think there’s going to be a mixed reality hardware product, though, is because most people don’t want to walk around with a relatively heavy, head-mounted visor that covers their eyes and makes it hard to drink a cup of coffee. I can see people walking around wearing a sleek, lightweight, beautifully designed pair of AR spectacles, but I just don’t believe walking around with a VR-style headset, even if it has a camera to allow you to “look through” it into the world, will ever be commonplace.

So if it’s an internal developer kit, maybe they’ll release a version of that prototype for us to start working on apps? 🤞 Might that be what’s coming this year? I don’t think so. I don’t see Apple showing a developer kit unless they were also able to announce the finished product, and they’re surely several years away from being able to ship that sleek version I was dreaming about a couple of paragraphs ago. No matter how carefully they pitched it, the world would see a mixed reality developer kit as a product announcement, and I don’t think Apple will ever ask consumers to walk around wearing a VR-style headset.

So, my prediction for this year is that this is not the year for any AR/VR hardware from Apple. Not even a holographic sticker on the back of the iPhone 14. 😂

I’m almost certainly wrong with every word I’ve written here, though, and will happily eat humble pie while coding an app for iGlasses in June. 😂

Dave Verwer

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iOS Software Engineer @ Luma Touch – Work with an amazing team on the 2021 iPad App of the Year, LumaFusion, and on exciting new professional video iOS apps in development. Knowledge of audio-video editing and processing a definite plus. We have offices in Salt Lake City and Seattle, will accept remote for the right person. – Remote (within US timezones) with some on-site work (United States in UT)

Senior Software Engineer - iOS @ Citymapper – Cities are complicated. We're using the power of mobile and data to help humans survive and master them. We're building the best app, with the best routing, and the best data in all the greatest cities of the world where we can make a difference. – Remote (within European timezones) with some on-site work (United Kingdom)

iOS Developer @ Atomic Robot – We are a mobile app agency with a diverse, tight-knit team that is passionate about the craft of mobile applications. Our team is the heart of our business- diversity in skills, perspectives, and lived experiences helps us ship impactful products that connect, inspire, and engage audiences. – Remote (within US timezones)

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iOS Developer @ WillowTree Digital – WillowTree is North America's largest privately-held digital product agency. We partner with many of the world's most iconic brands to develop elegant, highly-functional mobile & web applications used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. We offer remote & hybrid-flexible & incredible culture – Remote (within US timezones) with some on-site work (United States in NC, OH, or VA)

Senior iOS Developer @ Flightradar24 – With over 2 million daily users, Flightradar24 is the world’s most popular flight tracking service. As a member of our small iOS team, you'll work on every part of our app and have a lot of impact. We care about code quality and building the best possible product, and so should you. – Remote (within European timezones)


Why not start the year with a look at what Swift jobs are available? There are plenty more opportunities over at iOS Dev Jobs.

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And finally...

Part of me pines for this alternate reality. 😍