Image: Midjourney prompted by MIXED
Even if you do not know how to code, you might be able to get apps for the Apple XR headset into the App Store.
According to The Information, Apple wants to make it possible for people without programming skills to create their own AR apps using Siri, for example. Apps developed in this way could even make it into the App Store.
As an example, the site cites an AR app in which virtual animals walk around the living room, passing by real objects. The animals themselves and their 3D navigation would not need to be created separately. Voice commands to Siri, which is built into the headset, would be enough to create such an app. The site cites four people familiar with the project.
AR app development for everyone
Apple hopes that the no-code software for the headset will be used by professionals and amateurs alike, similar to its Final Cut Pro video editing software. The goal is to offer a wider variety of apps in the store.
Former Apple engineers are said to have compared the software to tools in games like Minecraft or Roblox, but optimized for embedding digital content in the real world rather than purely virtual.
Apple is also said to be working on its own apps focused on health and wellness. One app will take users to a Zen garden for meditation exercises. Another app takes users through a Dr. Seuss book, integrating the book’s fantastical setting into reality.
Software from a 2017 acquisition
The software underlying the no-code app development is said to come from Fabric Software, a Montreal startup that Apple reportedly acquired in 2017. The acquisition was previously unknown.
The startup worked on the “Fabric Engine” for video games, which was designed for procedural generation through algorithms and visual customization of objects or characters without code knowledge.
Fabric Software co-founder Peter Zion has stayed on at Apple to lead the no-code XR project. We LinkedInZion lists his job as “software engineering manager,” and the year he joined Apple is 2017.
Apple is also said to be working on technology that allows users to easily and quickly scan real-world objects in 3D and integrate them into applications as digital twins. Apple has already introduced similar features for smartphones and tablets, such as Object Capture and RoomPlan.