YouTube is one of the biggest apps not available on Vision Pro at launch. Thankfully we now know that it’s on the way. But will it support its large existing library of spatial videos?

Not only did YouTube not have a Vision Pro app ready for launch day, the company actually went out of its way to opt-out of having its existing iPad or iPhone apps run on the device.

But according to a statement to The Verge, the company confirmed that a native Vision Pro YouTube app is “on [the] roadmap].”

While you can already watch YouTube videos on Vision Pro through the browser, the experience isn’t quite as smooth as a native app would be. And the browser version doesn’t support any of YouTube’s existing spatial video content.

YouTube was an early adopter of spatial videos (supporting 3D, 180, and 360) and has amassed quite the library of footage over the years. As it stands, you can watch spatial videos on a headset like Quest through the native YouTube VR app that’s been on the platform since 2019. But right now those videos are locked away on Vision Pro.

So will a native YouTube app on Vision Pro support that content? Right now it’s unclear.

The Verge asked YouTube this question directly but has yet to get an answer

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As for Apple? They threw some serious shade on YouTube’s spatial video library:

“much of [spatial video content on YouTube] was created for devices that do not deliver a high-quality spatial experience. In some cases, this content could also cause motion discomfort. We’ve focused our efforts on delivering the best spatial media experience possible including spatial photos and videos, Apple Immersive Video, and 3D movies available on Apple TV,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge.

That point about ‘motion discomfort’ could even mean that Apple wouldn’t allow YouTube to put its spatial videos on Vision Pro. However, we’re unsure at this point if Apple has any explicit comfort requirements that developers must follow for app approval.

While we wait for YouTube to make its own native app for Vision Pro, a third-party developer has already sprung into action. The app Juno for YouTube is already available on the headset (albeit with a $5 price) and has the beginnings of a native YouTube experience available today. Unfortunately it also lacks support for YouTube’s spatial videos.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • ViRGiN

    Google/YouTube could say anything; but until it’s actually done and available right away, none of their statements really matter.

    If stereoscopic “spatial” videos do catch up, and will be even half as popular as 4k or 60 FPS, Applewould build their own streaming service and become the “spatial” competitor to YouTube.

    Google does not really want to work with anyone, incl Meta.
    We’ll see if they ever end up releasing anything desirable in the hardware space.

  • MackRogers

    spatial video is kinda stupid for anything other than personal clips of pets/family.

    not really interested in seeing a bunch of spatial garbage on youtube

    • sfmike

      Then don’t watch them….simple as that.

  • Yeshaya

    Is this the walled garden philosophy? “Random people uploading to youtube might put up low quality spatial videos, so we don’t want people watching them on our headset”?

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Apple isn’t prohibiting YouTube from streaming “low quality spatial videos” to AVP, they just said they focus only on high quality experiences. That’s like restaurant owners saying they doesn’t want to serve burgers or any fast food, because they think the quality/nutritional value of these are bad, but you can still go to McDonalds next door.

      It would only be a walled garden if a city prohibited selling fast food anywhere within city borders, or Apple prohibited others from streaming anything less than 4K (which is actually rather low for 360°).

      • Arno van Wingerde

        Yeah, put that way it certainly does sound ridiculous!

        A bit like somebody selling you hardware then allowing you only to shop at its appstore…. people would never stand for that!

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Yeah, Meta is really abusing their position here. First they pay billions to lure the users away from more open platforms to their own closed store. Then they try to plug the loophole that using Android left, with people sideloading via the debug function. By introducing App Lab they kill the business model of the competing SideloadVR service, but left App Lab in a barely usable state. So they not only control where Quest users can buy, but also what they can buy, as they never define any rules how developers can get their apps onto the Quest Store. Meta just picks whoever they want.

          And so the Quest users can only dream of the freedoms of the iOS/Android duopoly, where most apps are available on both platforms, so users can switch if they want to, even if both Apple and Google use very questionable policies to keep as much control as possible and suppress competition. And Quest developers can only dream of stores where they know that their projects will actually be published on the actual store, not some weird app dump that users can’t even search. It’s quite astonishing that VR users and developers stand for that!

    • Arno van Wingerde

      “That ‘land of the free’ thingy? I have never heart of it”
      Tim Cook

      (NB: fake news)

  • fcpw

    They’re not wrong- a lot of the 3D you can call up on YouTube is shot on cruddy Insta360 and looks janky on a decent display like the AVP.