Apple is finally taking VR seriously with its new Mac update

macOS update brings the HTC Vive love and more
Mac gets VR serious

While it seems like everyone in tech is exploring VR or developing for VR, Apple has been slow to catch up. Its Mac computers don't have support for VR and, even worse, developers can't properly use Macs to develop VR content. At Worldwide Developer Conference 2017, where it also announced watchOS 4 and glucose tracking for Watch, Apple made it clear that it's changing that.

Metal 2, Apple's new and update graphics engine, is getting support for VR. Firstly, this means that Final Cut Pro X is getting support for spherical video editing. It also means that SteamVR SDK, as well as the Unity and Unreal equivalents, are coming to Mac. For the first time, you'll be able to hook up the HTC Vive to a Mac with support for the virtual reality headset demoed on stage at the developer keynote.

Read this: Best VR headsets 2017

But that's not all. Apple is also updating its Mac line with external GPU support, so that if you don't have enough graphical power to run VR with a stock Apple configuration you can add it yourself. Every iMac is also getting a big graphics bump, from the entry-level Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 to the more high-end Radeon Pro 580. There's also going to be a brand new iMac Pro with the Radeon Pro Vega GPU, which Apple calls the most powerful Mac ever.

During its keynote, Apple specifically called out the new iMacs as a "great platform for VR content creation," though it's also pretty clear these are short-term solutions until that new Mac Pro comes out. You can't take VR seriously if you don't have products that can support VR, whether that's creating it or consuming it, and you can't expect VR developers and enthusiasts to take you seriously if you don't give them what they need. Apple, finally, is changing that and that's a really big deal.

Apple is finally taking VR seriously with its new Mac update


1 Comment

  • sschwartz34 says:

    As a MAC-user since December 1986, who just got a EVO VR headset as a gift for Father's Day, I'm disappointed to learn that my MacBookPro (13-inch, early 2011), won't support VR, which I discovered last night.  I guess I can use my adult son's pc to give it a try, although I'll give it one more attempt after I find a simple VR video that I want to see, like the one here of a tour of Hawaii.  Would Steve Jobs have let us down like this?  "I don't think so!"

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