App Developers Hesitate as YouTube and Netflix Skip Dedicated Apps for Apple Vision Pro Launch

As the launch date of Apple Vision Pro approaches, prominent app developers, such as YouTube and Netflix, have decided against creating specialized applications for the mixed-reality headset. This choice leaves potential users dependent on web browser versions for content consumption. The non-existence of essential applications prompts inquiries regarding the overall backing from media companies for Apple’s recent foray into mixed reality.

YouTube’s Decision and Consequences

In emulation of Netflix’s stance, YouTube has opted against developing a dedicated application for the Apple Vision Pro. Subscribers to YouTube will have to resort to utilizing the web browser version to watch videos, potentially disappointing users accustomed to the convenience offered by dedicated applications. The absence of a designated app also implies that users will be deprived of YouTube’s offline downloads feature, impacting scenarios like in-flight entertainment. Nonetheless, YouTube has conveyed its support for the Vision Pro launch, affirming its commitment to delivering a seamless experience through Safari.

Apple Vision Pro: Netflix’s Stance and Limited App Support

Netflix has confirmed its decision not to launch a dedicated app for the Vision Pro, and it is not modifying its iPad version either. This approach is echoed by other Meta-owned platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and WhatsApp. The absence of support from these major platforms raises concerns about the device’s appeal and functionality, particularly given its prevalence on other Apple devices.

Apple Vision Pro: Additional App Developers Hesitate

Reports suggest that several other companies, including YouTube Music, Roku, Snapchat, DoorDash, Bumble, and Lyft, among others, may also be hesitant to develop compatible apps for the Vision Pro. The reasons behind this hesitancy are not explicitly stated, but it may involve concerns about Apple’s recent App Store rules and the associated fees for in-app transactions.

Spotify’s Decision and Industry Implications

Spotify is also reportedly choosing not to roll out a new app for the Vision Pro, and its iPad app won’t be available on the Vision Pro store. While Spotify hasn’t confirmed these plans, the choice aligns with a growing trend of major media companies showing reluctance to support Apple’s mixed-reality headset. The reasons behind Spotify’s choices are not directly linked to its public frustrations over the new App Store rules.

Developer Reluctance Amid App Store Changes

The reported hesitation from developers to aid the Vision Pro may be influenced by Apple’s recent updates to its App Store rules. Developers now face increased scrutiny and fees, with a 27% charge for out-of-app-store purchases. Spotify, in particular, has criticized this fee, calling it “outrageous.” The updated rules give Apple more control over app inclusion, potentially affecting developer willingness to engage with new Apple ventures.

Despite the hesitancy exhibited by certain significant players, close to 20 applications are poised to introduce entertainment experiences on the Vision Pro. Noteworthy contributors include TikTok, Disney+, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, ESPN, NBA, MLB, PGA Tour, Red Bull TV, IMAX, and MUBI, demonstrating robust support for the mixed-reality headset. This level of involvement indicates that Apple is successfully curating a varied array of content for users of the Vision Pro, overcoming obstacles in the process.

The choices made by YouTube and Netflix to refrain from creating specific applications for the Apple Vision Pro, coupled with noted hesitancy from other significant app developers, prompt significant inquiries about the ecosystem and industry dynamics surrounding the device. As Apple grapples with challenges in managing developer relationships and shaping App Store policies, the success of the Vision Pro may depend on its capacity to draw in diverse content providers and provide an engaging mixed-reality experience. Observers are closely monitoring the shifting landscape, and insights into the market reception are anticipated with the device’s scheduled launch on February 2.