The Apple Vision Pro may not have been in attendance during the recent iPhone 15 launch event hosted at Apple Park, but it got a shout-out and a couple of upgrades that you might have missed.
Unfortunately, these improvements aren’t coming to the headset directly, instead they’re buffs exclusive for people who own multiple premium Apple products – specifically the new iPhone 15 Pro (or the iPhone 15 Pro Max) and the updated AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C port.
Starting with the iPhone 15, the Pro model’s cameras now have the ability to record Spatial Video. This immersive format allows you to use the Vision Pro to relive 3D recreations of memories you film and was first shown off in the Vision Pro reveal trailer at WWDC 2023.
While kinda cool – it feels like a step towards hologram recordings from sci-fi – the feature also felt rather dystopian when unveiled on the Vision Pro. Specifically, to be able to record Spatial Video of a special moment actually on the Vision Pro, you’d need to separate yourself from it; you’d cover your eyes with the VR headset to boot up the camera and start recording. It also wouldn’t let you relive any memories that happened while you didn’t have the $3,499 (around £2,800 / AU$5,300) headset on hand to record – and given the price of the Vision Pro it doesn’t strike us as something you want to carry with you everywhere.
The iPhone 15 Pro solves both of these issues. While recording spatial video on your iPhone you can still be present in the moment and experience it for real as it happens – not just through a recording – and you’ll almost always have your phone on you to be able to capture memories as they happen.
The feature won’t be live when the new iPhones launch, but Apple noted that Spatial Video recording would be coming in the near future (we expect it will arrive before or just as the Vision Pro releases).
More than USB-C charging changes
Another announcement from the iPhone 15 event is that Apple is launching an updated AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C charging case – to match the USB-C charging port now used by the iPhone 15 models. Interestingly, this charging change isn’t the only upgrade coming in the refresh of Apple’s noise-cancelling earbuds.
For a start, the revamped buds have a new IP54 dustproof and water-resistant label (the previous iteration just had an IPX4 rating, suggesting its dust resistance wasn’t tested). More importantly, just for Vision Pro users, these earbuds will support a “groundbreaking wireless audio protocol” that unlocks 20-bit, 48 kHz Lossless Audio for the Apple headset. This means you can enjoy your Apple Vision Pro experiences in private and with high-end audio (higher quality than you can get from your AirPods Pro connected to even the latest iPhones) by slipping in a pair of USB-C AirPods Pro 2.
Weirdly, this upgrade seems to be exclusive to the new AirPods. Older AirPods Pro 2 charged via a Lightning cable don’t seem to offer this high-end audio quality with the Vision Pro. So if you only recently bought a pair of AirPods Pro 2 you might want to return them and pick up the USB-C model instead when the new model releases on September 22, if the Vision Pro is something you’re remotely interested in.