New Apple Reference Seems to Confirm ‘realityOS’ Operating System
There have been plenty of references to the “realityOS” operating system that Apple’s much-rumored standalone headset will supposedly run. Apple’s upcoming immersive headset might launch next year and there are strong signs it will materialize if the many “realityOS” mentions are anything to go by.
The “rOS” reference was first made in 2017 by Bloomberg. It was also made in some of the pre-release iOS 13 builds. Now developers have spotted new references of the operating system in GitHub repos as well as in App Store upload logs.
Rumors have over the past year converged in a sort of consensus that the headset will be announced this fall, in some kind of media event or at the WDDC. A recent Bloomberg report, however, cast doubts on the timeline as the hardware is reportedly facing technical challenges. The announcement could therefore be pushed back as far as 2023.
Uh what is Apple’s RealityOS doing in the App Store upload logs?
AR/VR confirmed? pic.twitter.com/Wp7XWieeEU
— Rens Verhoeven (@renssies) January 17, 2022
In the latest reference of the “realityOS” operating system, the developer Rens Verhoeven is surprised to find mentions of realityOS in the Apple Store upload logs and posts asks the community on Twitter. The developer Steve Troughton-Smith explains that a GitHub repo which references realityOS is confirmation that it has ”its own OS & binaries” and also has “a realityOS simulator.” Troughton-Smith speculates that it may simply be a “remnant of somebody’s pull request from a fake account.”
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 9, 2022
Bloomberg’s original report in 2017 which referenced rOS had mentioned that the operating system is based on iOS. Apple generally uses the OS shorthand for the various operating systems such as tvOS, iOS, watchOS, macOS, and iPadOS so rOS or realityOS is likely referring to an operating system for immersive hardware.
The new mentions of realityOS are coming months following analyst Ming-chi Kuo’s claims that Apple’s first Augmented Reality headset would come later in the year and will have the same level of computing power as an M1 Mac. Kuo has also said that the Apple headset will be standalone which further shows the need for a dedicated operating system. RealityOS is likely the codename that Apple has used in the past five years but according to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the actual codename of the OS is “Oak”. It is, therefore, possible that realityOS could be the final name of the operating system. All in all, the frequent mentions of the OS suggest that the operating system is key to Apple’s rumored upcoming headset.
According to Bloomberg, Apple’s headset will not be released until 2023 although the company had planned to unveil it at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The delay has been attributed to Apple’s challenges with cameras, software, and overheating in the device. However, it is also possible that Apple may be interested in passing the realityOS software development kits to developers ahead of the headset’s launch.