Can you work with the Apple Vision Pro?

Can you work with the Apple Vision Pro?

The Apple Vision Pro is a new, portable VR/AR headset that offers an immersive experience through augmented reality and virtual reality. It combines advanced display technology, intuitive operation, and seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem to provide users with a unique visual experience. Moreover, the Apple Vision Pro is not only designed for entertainment and media consumption but can also be effectively used for work tasks.

Compared to other VR headsets, the Apple Vision is in the higher price range but stands out with high-quality craftsmanship and materials. The Apple Vision Pro undoubtedly revolutionizes how we interact with digital media and work tasks. However, the question arises to what extent this innovative device can truly support the daily work routine. I have been using the Apple Vision Pro for some time now and can provide a nuanced perspective.

From file management to conferences:
The Apple Vision Pro in work use

At the outset, I can clearly state that the wearing time of the Apple Vision Pro is currently limited to a maximum of 30 minutes for me before I need a break. For my eyes, the Apple Vision is less of a strain than for my head. My neck probably needs to build up muscle that I didn't even know existed. And my brain definitely needs to adjust to the new impressions. If I dive in for too long during the day, headaches and migraines are inevitable.

Integration with iCloud works well, even with a German Apple ID. Files are exchanged via AirDrop or iCloud Drive. A drawback is the lack of ability to access external storage devices like hard drives. This could limit flexibility in some work environments. Moreover, a fast and stable Wi-Fi connection is essential for the efficient use of the Apple Vision Pro.

The audio quality of the Apple Vision Pro is excellent and supports effective communication, whether in phone calls or when playing media. Unfortunately, there is no noise cancellation, and I can't wear my AirPods Max with the Apple Vision Pro.

There are still problems with rapid movements. The vibrations in the image cause me discomfort. This could be particularly problematic in dynamic work environments where movement plays a role. For example, a treadmill in front of the desk makes work practically impossible as everything shakes slightly. Here, I don't know to what extent the image stabilization can still be improved.

The readability of texts is a highlight. Documents and emails can be read well and comfortably edited while lying down, which opens up new possibilities for flexible working positions. Likewise, editing emails via Apple Mail is very pleasant.

However, browser-based applications like Google Mail, Miro, or Figma still require some time to get used to, especially in terms of operation through gestures and finger combinations. The operation is different, but maybe not worse. It feels similar to switching from a mouse to the Apple Magic Trackpad.

No one sees what I see. This creates a whole new sense of privacy. The shielding from prying eyes on, for example, sensitive documents, a private iMessage, or user data is another plus, especially beneficial in open-plan offices or public settings.

Conducting Zoom conferences with the Apple Vision Pro is impressive, as the presentation of participants and the handling of screen sharing are excellently resolved. Typing on the screen keyboard is sufficient for short texts but too cumbersome for longer documents. Using Siri for dictating texts is a practical addition, but only feasible in a private setting.

Microsoft Office is already available for the Apple Vision Pro, perfect for opening and editing documents. Since the Apple Vision behaves more like an iPad instead of a MacBook, only software available in the App Store can be used. I don't see the installation of Parallels Desktop to use Windows programs happening in the medium term.

Through Handoff and Virtual Display, I can seamlessly integrate my MacBook into my field of vision. My keyboard and trackpad are then automatically also usable for VisionOS apps – that's really magical! This way, I can, for example, take advantage of the native Apple Mail app while also typing quickly.

My conclusion on the Apple Vision Pro as a work device

All my subjective insights can be summarized as follows:

  • Using it is an experience in itself!
  • First-class hardware performance
  • Meetings with Zoom very impressive
  • Screen keyboard better than expected
  • High degree of privacy for screen content
  • Apple's usual seamless iCloud connection
  • Image quality of the real environment is good
  • Headaches and migraines with prolonged use
  • No physical interfaces, such as for data transfer
  • A lot of noise visible in difficult lighting conditions
  • Passthrough allows interaction with one's environment
  • Image stabilization during movements could be improved
  • Personas in customer meetings still somewhat unprofessional
  • Productively integrates into an existing (macOS) work environment
  • Text from the phone or Apple Watch hard to read in passthrough mode
  • Wearing comfort could be improved, neck exercises to prevent tension recommended