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App Clip Codes and Apple Vision Codes: anchoring Augmented Reality Experiences on iOS 17 and visionOS


Apple Vision Pro | 07/12/2023 |


Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation, and their advancements with App Clip Codes and the introduced Apple Vision Pro Headset are no exception. The App Clips Codes, initially introduced in iOS 14 and further enhanced in iOS 17, are revolutionizing the way we interact with AR experiences and the digital world around us. Now, with the release of the Apple Vision Pro headset running on visionOS, these interactions are set to become even more immersive.

What are App Clip Codes?

Apple Vision app clip codes

App Clips, introduced in iOS 14, allow users to access a small, specific part of an app exactly when they need it. This could be anything from renting a scooter, buying a coffee, paying for parking, or launching an AR experience. These App Clips can be discovered and accessed by scanning an Apple-designed App Clip code, through NFC tags and QR codes, or shared in Messages or from Safari. This means you can use the features of an app without having to download and install the full version, saving time and storage space on your device.

Speculation on Apple Vision Codes

Apple Vision Code

Design of an AR Code

Building on the concept of App Clip codes, it is speculated that Apple may be developing Apple Vision Codes. Despite not being announced, these potential AR QR codes could bolster interaction and engagement within the Apple ecosystem by enhancing AR experiences for a broader audience. This speculation came about following the announcement of the innovative Apple Vision Pro Headset on the 5th of June, 2023.

Apple Vision Code

Conceptual design of an Apple Vision Code (Gobi project)

Unlike traditional AR experiences, which require app downloads or website visits, Apple Vision Codes could enable users to access content by scanning codes directly with the Apple Vision Pro Headset. This streamlined approach not only enhances convenience but could revolutionize shopping by enabling customers to preview products in their home environment before purchasing.

Apple Vision Pro Headset: Redefining Immersive AR Experiences

The Apple Vision Pro headset, unveiled on the 5th of June, 2023, and now available to US citizens since February 2, 2024, is reshaping the augmented and virtual reality landscape. This significant leap forward in immersive technology is setting new standards for AR and VR applications.

Apple Augmented Reality Headset

The headset, with a design reminiscent of ski goggles, features 12 external cameras, lens-adjusting motors, and a button for toggling between fully-immersive VR and an AR view. With support for AirPods Pro, 8K resolution displays, and sensors for capturing facial expressions and body movements, this device is leading the way in AR technology and applications.

With ARKit, AR Codes Are Displayable on the Vision Pro Headset

Alongside App Clips and the future Apple Vision Codes, Apple continues to push the boundaries of augmented reality. With powerful frameworks like ARKit and RealityKit, and creative tools like Reality Composer and Reality Converter, it’s never been easier to bring your ideas to life in AR.

AR Code experiences are seamlessly adaptable to the Apple Vision Pro Headset, thanks to the power of ARKit:

Trex Apple Vision QR Code

Looking Forward to iOS 17

With the recent release of iOS 17 at the WWDC on June 5, 2023, we've seen further enhancements and new features that continue to shape the future of mobile experiences. The integration of App Clip codes and the future Apple Vision Codes in this iOS version offer more seamless and interactive experiences for users.

Here are the main highlights from iOS 17:

  • Release Date: iOS 17 was released at the WWDC on June 5, 2023, following the pattern of previous iOS releases.
  • Supported Devices: iOS 17 supports iPhone models from iPhone X and newer, with rumors suggesting that all devices running iOS 16 were eligible for an iOS 17 upgrade.
  • Notable Features: iOS 17 introduced a redesigned Control Center, more lock-screen customization, changes to the Apple Music UI, and more organization options in the App library. Updates to the Health app, CarKey, ARKit, and the Camera app were also included.
  • Apps: Several Apple apps, including the Wallet app, the Health app, and a new wallpaper picker UI were redesigned. A new journaling app focused on mental well-being came pre-installed with iOS 17.
  • Third-party App Store Support: Apple started laying the groundwork for sideloading apps with iOS 17, a feature that is thought to be exclusive to iPhone users in Europe.
  • Accessibility Features: iOS 17 has introduced new accessibility features, including an improved text-to-speech tool, the option to train your iPhone to have a digitized copy of your voice, a point-and-speak feature for the Magnifier app, and a new simplified UI for easier navigation.

Conclusion: The Aftermath of WWDC 2023

The WWDC 2023 was a landmark event for augmented reality, with a host of AR announcements, promising to redefine the boundaries of immersive experiences and digital interaction.

By allowing users to access app features on-demand and enhancing the world around us with AR, Apple has created a more seamless and interactive mobile experience. As developers continue to explore these new tools and features, we can expect to see a new wave of innovative apps that blur the line between the digital and physical world. The future of AR is here, and it's more accessible and immersive than ever.

Frequently asked questions

What are App Clip Codes?

App Clip Codes, introduced in iOS 14, allow users to access a specific part of an app exactly when they need it. This could range from renting a scooter to launching an AR experience. These App Clips can be discovered and accessed by scanning an Apple-designed App Clip code, through NFC tags and QR codes, or shared in Messages or from Safari.

What are Apple Vision Codes?

Apple Vision Codes, which might currently be under development, could be scannable AR QR codes specifically designed to enhance interactivity and engagement within the Apple ecosystem. These codes aim to make AR experiences more accessible to a broader audience, allowing users to seamlessly interact with augmented reality content.

What is the Apple Vision Pro Headset?

The Apple Vision Pro headset, which became available in February 2024, elevates augmented and virtual reality experiences to unprecedented levels. Featuring 12 external cameras, lens-adjusting motors, and a button for toggling between VR and AR views, this device is at the forefront of AR technology.

What enhancements were introduced in iOS 17?

iOS 17 introduced a redesigned Control Center, more lock-screen customization, changes to the Apple Music UI, and more organization options in the App library. There were also updates to the Health app, CarKey, ARKit, and potentially even the Camera app.

What were the key announcements at WWDC 2023?

WWDC 2023 was a pivotal event for augmented reality, with numerous AR-related announcements including the launch of the Apple Vision Pro Headset. This transformational unveiling promises to revolutionize the landscape of immersive experiences and digital interaction. The incorporation of App Clip codes and the speculation of Apple Vision Codes in iOS 17 has facilitated more seamless and interactive experiences for users.

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