iPhone update lets public try first ever Vision Pro headset feature – sort of

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A new iPhone update brings the first look at one of the key features of Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset.

iOS 17.2, which is available to developers in an early version now, and is likely to be released later this year for everyone, brings support for spatial video on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

That will allow people to make videos with depth, that can then be viewed later on the augmented reality headset. Those spatial photos and videos were a key part of Apple’s introduction of the Vision Pro earlier this year.

Taking a video is done in much the same way as any other video: users choose spatial video, and will be told that they need to turn the video to be landscape, as well as given warnings about potential low light or being too close to the subject. They can then make the video as normal.

The videos will also appear as normal on the iPhone itself. Users can watch them in their Photos app, but there is no preview of the three-dimensional aspect, which must be seen on the headset.

Apple announced that spatial video would be available in the new iPhones when they were unveiled in September. Until that point, only the Vision Pro had been announced as a way of taking the videos – leading to fears and some mockery that people would have to be wearing the augmented reality headset during important moments they wanted to capture.

The new features are in the second beta of iOS 17.2 to be released to developers. It is likely to come to the public in December.

iOS 17.2 also brings the journal app, which was first announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June but did not arrive in the full version of iOS 17. It also adds new widgets, Apple Music features including collaborative playlists, more Memoji options and improvements to the security of iMessage.

The iPhone 15 Pro also gets another exclusive feature in that update. When it arrives, it will add a new option for the action button on the side, to allow it to open up translate, in addition to the current options that include the camera and torch.