Apple: Time to get virtually real?

Virtual reality and Apple
Last week I found myself spouting anti-Apple polemic with a friend as we tried to play songs via Bluetooth from an iPhone on a car journey. Like many people, the machinations of iTunes had confused my pal in to switching from locally-stored to iCloud-based songs and nothing was playing over 3G. Thanks to the efficiencies of Spotify we got some tunes going but I was alarmed to find myself ranting AGAIN about a brand which I have loved, supported and defended since turning on a Macintosh Classic 2 nearly twenty five years ago.

And I’m starting to see more and more people becoming increasingly frustrated by the constant tinkering and over-complication of iTunes, uninspired iOS updates and sustained pressure to move us all to the iCloud. And, come on. Do we REALLY need five different types of iPad? 

We don’t necessarily want Apple to amaze us with a game-changing device every Autumn; they are, after all, masters of refining existing tech. We just want them to get us to look at our lives in a different way. You know, like they used to.

I know I’m not alone in thinking that Apple has lost its way since the death of Steve Jobs but I still want to believe that they can deliver something as revolutionary as the first generation iMac, the iPod and the iPhone.

Back in February someone strapped a Samsung Gear virtual reality headset on to my head and I was suddenly leashed to a wheelchair being pushed around a seriously haunted lunatic asylum. In another app I was the actual bullet being shot from a gun. The experience was immersive and thrilling and opened up my eyes; I felt I had just glimpsed the future – and the last time I felt that was when I pinched and scrolled a website on an iPhone for the first time.

I searched for an Apple equivalent to this experience and there was nothing close to what Samsung are doing – the available headsets and VR apps I found felt years behind. It may be no secret that Apple have registered patents and are working on VR tech but can they surpass the experience that Samsung Gear currently offers and accelerate our inevitable adoption of this life-changing technology? To me, it seems the natural path. But with Nintendo now using Pokémon Go to engage a massive audience with AR, by the time they announce AppleVR it may already be too late. 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will be surprising us soon. If not it might be the beginning of game over.

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