Apple’s highly anticipated Vision Pro headset is set to launch next month, but some of the world’s most popular streaming services won’t be onboard at release. Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify have all confirmed that they won’t offer dedicated apps for Vision Pro when it hits stores in February, dealing a blow to Apple’s ambitions in spatial computing and immersive entertainment.
No Native Netflix App for Vision Pro
Netflix revealed last week that it has no plans to develop a native app for Vision Pro. In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson cited the “limitations of VisionOS” as a key factor behind their decision:
“We are excited about the potential for spatial computing devices like Vision Pro, but the limitations of the initial VisionOS platform mean we can’t deliver a quality streaming experience today. We look forward to working with Apple in the future as the system capabilities evolve.”
It’s a surprising move from the world’s largest subscription streaming service, considering entertainment is expected to be one of Vision Pro’s major use cases.
Analysts say Netflix likely wants more flexibility with Vision Pro than Apple is currently allowing. VisionOS is designed to tightly integrate apps and content, but Netflix may prefer looser restrictions to maintain control over the user experience.
There are also concerns around Netflix’s ability to gather viewing data and serve personalized recommendations on Vision Pro given Apple’s strong privacy stance.
Without a dedicated app, Vision Pro owners won’t have access to Netflix’s huge catalog of TV shows and movies. Netflix will still be accessible via the Vision Pro web browser, but the experience is expected to be subpar compared to native apps.
YouTube and Spotify Also Sitting Out
Following Netflix’s revelation, both YouTube and Spotify confirmed they won’t release Vision Pro apps when the headset debuts either.
YouTube issued the following statement:
“While we are excited by the new opportunities devices like Vision Pro offer, we have no plans for a YouTube app at the current time. We remain open to conversations with Apple about better supporting platforms like Vision Pro in the future.”
Spotify similarly indicated they need more time to optimize their service for an immersive environment:
“Developing entirely new experiences like this takes time. We look forward to working together with Apple to bring Spotify to the Vision platform when the time is right.”
The lack of native YouTube and Spotify support deals another major blow. YouTube is the world’s largest video site, while Spotify leads in music streaming – two key entertainment categories Vision Pro is targeting.
Vision Pro’s Entertainment Appeal Now in Doubt
When Apple unveiled Vision Pro last year, entertainment appeared set to be one of its killer features. The headset offers dual 8K displays with incredible visual fidelity, spatial audio, and a massive catalog of games and apps in the Vision Store.
But without backing from critical streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify out the gate, Vision Pro’s mainstream appeal for media consumption is now in question. These services have hundreds of millions of subscribers who will be unable to access them properly on release.
Analysts say it’s a worrying sign about VisionOS limitations and the level of buy-in from top developers. The situation invokes memories of struggling platforms like Windows Phone which lacked key apps for years.
However, Apple has insisted Vision Pro offers users “everything they need” for next-generation entertainment through VisionOS:
“The Vision Store has the world’s best selection of spatial apps tailored for Vision Pro. Together with services like Apple TV+, Apple Music, and the Vision Browser, Vision Pro enables incredible immersive entertainment.”
The company has also confirmed popular services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, TikTok, and Apple’s own TV, Music, and Arcade offerings will be available on day one.
So while Vision Pro won’t support Netflix and other giants initially, customers will still have plenty of native content to enjoy. Gaming in particular is seen as a system highlight thanks to tight integration with titles from the Vision Store.
What Does This Mean for Vision Pro’s Future?
The lack of major streaming apps is undoubtedly a short-term headache for Apple. But given VisionOS limitations, analysts say Netflix, YouTube and Spotify may be making the right call by holding off until more advanced headset hardware arrives.
Apple is likely to rapidly iterate on Vision Pro, and some experts think dedicated apps from these streaming giants could appear by the end of 2025 with expected refinements.
VisionOS itself is also expected to become more capable and open over time. Remember, the original iPhone launched without an App Store or third party apps – it took Apple just a year to introduce those capabilities which supercharged the platform’s success.
For now, the onus is on Apple to prove the incredible entertainment value of its new spatial computing ecosystem alone to attract users. But with further innovation, Vision Pro may still realize its disruptive potential in the coming years as an all-in-one immersive content hub.
This initial streaming snub is a setback in Vision Pro’s journey – but not necessarily the end. Apple has defied expectations before, and theiradvancements in this space are only just getting started.
|Vision Pro Hardware Specs
|Dual 8K Micro-OLED Displays
|120hz Refresh Rate
|200-Degree Field of View
|LiDAR Depth Sensor
|HDR, 10-bit Colors
|Integrated Eye Tracking
|Spatial Audio Speakers
|Head and Hand Tracking
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