Early Thoughts on Apple Vision Pro

Aaron Klein
6 min readFeb 7, 2024

Yes, as a confessed Apple fanboy, I had to get one. Beyond the fact that I love to learn about new platforms, there was one feature I was and am really excited about.

But Apple has made a big mistake in their 1.0 implementation, and I hope they can fix it quickly.

Wow.

There is no doubt this is an amazing device. It brings me back to the first iPhone I ever held. You just knew this was a piece of the future.

There are serious tradeoffs here to make the technology work, and I have to assume Apple will fix each of them gradually.

The weight is real. It never hurts my neck, but it absolutely presses in on my cheekbones in a way that can be a little uncomfortable. I can adjust it and move on, and I never feel like I can’t stand it any more. But let’s put it this way — you never forget it’s there!

You look goofy wearing it. My wife has laughed out loud at me twice now. On the other hand, everybody thought AirPods looked ridiculous when they first came out. Maybe we’ll adapt.

What’s incredible.

Navigation is magical. The eye tracking is incredible, and tapping with your fingers is super easy and intuitive. It’s like you’re Tom Cruise in Majority Report — it definitely feels like the future.

The visual quality is stunning. I have never gotten anyone to successfully try it that their first words haven’t been “OH WOW.” It’s crazy good.

The #1 thing I wanted this for is amazing — in my home office, I have a huge Apple Studio Display that I love. When traveling in a hotel, I’m usually limited to the 13" MacBook Air screen. Now I can have a wall-sized MacBook screen in front of my eyes. I’m using my MacBook keyboard and trackpad the whole time, and it’s super sharp and well defined. Amazing.

Environments are awesome — you can step out onto the top of Haleakala and see the sunrise, or watch the rain fall on Mount Hood, or look at Earth in the distance from the surface of the moon.

Watching movies or TV shows is an incredible experience on Vision Pro. The Disney+ app lets you step into a Disney theater or Luke Skywalker’s speeder to watch a movie in killer 3D that actually looks great (unlike most movie theaters). Apple TV+ has a few demos of totally immersive video content like an Alicia Keys practice session that point to a crazy cool future.

Spatial videos are incredible. I took a couple with my iPhone on my trip to Ethiopia, and replaying them on Vision Pro makes it feel like you’re right back in that moment. And I took a panorama while skiing up on Bogus Basin above Boise, and it’s incredible to be transported back to that in a way I never have been before. Here’s a 10 second video that gives you a little sense of what that feels like inside Vision Pro.

Apps like JigSpace give you a little sense of what will be in the future — you can toss a jet engine on the floor, turn it on, and then disassemble it to see all the parts and how it works. I’ve never seen anything like it.

What’s not.

Okay, here’s the worst thing about the Vision Pro.

You really can’t get a sense of how great Vision Pro is — the navigation, the visual quality, spatial videos, panoramas, 3D movies, wall-sized screens — without putting it over your eyes and seeing it for yourself.

Apple has royally screwed up the ability for its early users to be ambassadors for the product with its failure to allow multiple user profiles.

My wife is the opposite of an early adopter. She likes technology, but doesn’t like change. (I’m very lucky she married me, but it was an eight year sales cycle.)

But I still remember when I first put an iPhone in her hand. Boom, she was a believer and wanted one.

So I convince my wife to try out the Vision Pro — I’m going to put her on Haleakala, and show her some spatial videos. I put Vision Pro into guest user mode, get it on her head, and she is doing the eye tracking dots to get rolling when the doorbell rings.

It’s the service tech who is fixing our garage door, and I have to run out and pay him. I walk back inside, and the Vision Pro is sitting on the couch.

“What happened?” I said.

“You were gone, and I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

I immediately realized this was not going to end well. When someone in guest user mode takes off the Vision Pro, it immediately resets back to its primary user, and loses all of the eye tracking setup for the guest.

“Oh shoot. Well, let’s try again.” I start to put it back on again.

“What? I have to do all that setup stuff again? No way. I don’t have time for this. I’ll do it later, maybe.”

She still hasn’t tried it.

There is simply no excuse for a device like this not to have multiple user profiles. It would be the easiest thing in the world to let her set up her own profile with her own iCloud account, and then whenever she puts the Vision Pro on, it recognizes her eyes and drops her right in.

I get that the fit might not be perfect, and there will always be a primary user for a single Vision Pro, but give me a break — no family, including mine, is going to buy this kind of device for each family member.

Isolation.

There’s one other interesting aspect here: by its nature, the Vision Pro is isolating, and doesn’t create shared experiences. I’m sure that could change in the future, but it will once again require multiple Vision Pros.

When it comes to travel, isolation is a feature, not a bug. I can think of so many ways I will use Vision Pro while traveling, and these experiences would all be 10x better than the status quo.

  • Getting a wall-sized screen for my MacBook Air.
  • Keeping my screen private from other people on an airplane.
  • Having the equivalent of a home theater in a hotel room.
  • If I ever have time to play games or mess around with something like JigSpace, it’s when I’m traveling.

Maybe I’m unusual, but I’m actually having a really hard time seeing good reasons to use Vision Pro at home. I have a big monitor for the MacBook. Movies and TV are shared experiences with my wife and kids.

I ordered the smallest travel case I could find on Amazon, because I think 80% of my Vision Pro usage will be on the road.

Fix it, Apple.

Here’s the good news — most of what is wrong with Vision Pro can be fixed in software. The weight of the device will come down in future models, but the biggest things Apple needs to fix are easily within their power.

The bad news is — the same has been true for the iPad for a while. Most of its faults are in the software, and Apple has stubbornly not fixed them. So it remains to be seen whether they’ll do it.

If I was running Vision Pro at Apple, here’s what I’d pound my fist on the table to accomplish.

  • Allow multiple users. It’s inexcusable, and it’s going to make it hard-to-impossible for later adopters to really get comfortable with Vision Pro.
  • Perfect the Personas. It’s a good and necessary concept, but I really hate mine and can’t imagine appearing on a video call this way. Maybe I’ll like my next attempt, but the first take was not great. 😂 It’s still in beta, so I’m hopeful it will get better.
  • Make up with developers, get more apps. The strained relationships over the 30% cut from the App Store are shortsighted. Take the temporary hit and make the entire Apple ecosystem bigger by getting Spotify, Netflix, Google and Dropbox on board. Pronto.

Bottom line.

A lot of promise, but not yet fulfilled. If you are in the Apple ecosystem already and travel a lot, go for it. Otherwise, the jury is still out. We’ll see if Apple has what it takes to make Vision Pro the next big platform.

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Aaron Klein

Husband and Dad to your typical, average Korean-Ethiopian-American family. Co-Founder and Founding CEO at Nitrogen. Striving to live Isaiah 1:17. Love Idaho.