If you planned on binging your favorite Netflix show on Apple's Vision Pro headset, this news might disappoint you. According to a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (via The Verge), Apple's $3,499 headset won't launch with a dedicated Netflix app.
You can still watch Netflix on the headset, but you'll have to do so in a web browser, which will negatively impact both immersion and ease of use. Other non-Apple streaming services will support the Vision Pro, including Max, Paramount Plus, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix is the only major holdout.
Why is there no Netflix app on Apple's Vision Pro?
There's no way to know the true reasoning behind Netflix's decision to not create a new app for the Vision Pro or even adapt its iPad app. However, the most likely culprit is either competition-focused or pure indifference.
If Netflix's motivation is competitive, could the streaming giant have plans in the works to team up with one VR headset company exclusively? It's entirely possible. The streaming market has quickly latched onto exclusives, so this could absolutely be a future business decision.
Right now, the Netflix VR app is available on Meta Quest headsets. It's outdated at this point, and unusable for many people, but in it's prime, this was one of the coolest VR apps. You could be fully immersed in a virtual living room while binging your favorite show or movie.
Perhaps Netflix is working on an updated app for Meta Quest headsets exclusively, or maybe the company isn't interested in perfecting a VR app at all. Netflix certainly has the manpower and funds to create a functional, immersive VR app that would work with all headsets. So why don't they?
Netflix spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka told The Verge, "Our members will be able to enjoy Netflix on the web browser on the Vision Pro, similar to how our members can enjoy Netflix on Macs." This sounds like a decent solution in lieu of an app, until you consider the resolution limitations, inability to watch content offline, and difficulty of typing on Apple's Vision Pro headset.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that "You have to poke each key one finger at a time like you did before you learned how to type." Having to type this way every time you want to stream something on Netflix will be incredibly irritating.
If you don't plan to use Netflix as your main streaming service and you're looking to pre-order Apple's Vision Pro, mark your calendar for January 19 at 8 a.m. EST.
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