RealityOS: everything we know about the software designed for Apple’s mixed reality headset

Apple is developing a mixed reality AR/VR headset that should be launched in less than a year, if rumors are to be believed. With new hardware comes new software, and Apple is working on a headset operating system that should be called realityOS or rOS.

General functionality of the Mock Reality operating system
This guide brings together everything we know about the realityOS operating system that will run on the upcoming AR/VR headset. We’ll update this guide as we learn more about realityOS.


Apple has been working on the software that will run on the AR/VR headset since 2017, and according to Bloombergit is Marc Gurman, Apple will call it realityOS or rOS. The name will go with the name of the headset, which should be either Reality One or Reality Pro.

realityOS is codenamed “Oak” internally, and references to it have been discovered in App store logs and Apple source code, confirm name.

Objectives of the software

Apple sees the headset as a device for gaming, viewing streaming video content, video conferencing, and interfacing with other people, and that will be what Apple will focus on in terms of software. Gurman described the headset as a “full 3D environment” designed for gaming, media consumption and communication.


FaceTime will be an important communication application for rOS, incorporating existing features such as SharePlay and Memojis/Animojis. With SharePlay, headset wearers can watch TV shows and movies together, and use Memoji and Animoji as virtual avatars. With all the cameras the headset should have, it will likely detect facial expressions and work like Animoji and Memoji on the iPhone and iPad.

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Core apps such as Messages will be available on the AR/VR headset in addition to ‌FaceTime‌, although how the Messages app will work is unknown at this time. A rumor has suggested that Apple is creating a whole new version of Messages with chat rooms, video clips support, home view, and more.

General App Messages


The Maps app will be available on the headset, but we have no further information on what the Maps app might be capable of. It might incorporate some of Apple’s Look Around and Landmark features, allowing users to explore cities around the world.



Games are a key feature on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌ and AppleTVand the AR/VR headset should also support a range of games. apple arcadefor example, could expand to include AR/VR games available on the headset.

App store

The Mac, ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple TV‌, and Apple Watch all have their own dedicated App Stores for downloading apps, and the AR/VR headset should also have its own ‌App Store‌.

General functionality of the iOS App Store

Streaming video content

Apple’s hiring suggests Apple is developing a video service for the headset, which will include 3D content that can be played in virtual reality. Apple may also partner with third-party services to create content that can be viewed in virtual reality.

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rOS launch date

With the AR/VR headset on track to debut sometime in 2023, likely in the first half of the year, that’s also when we expect to see the first release. from realityOS. Apple might be showcasing realityOS and the headset at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but there’s also a chance it might come out before that.

Learn more about Apple’s AR/VR headset

The mixed reality headset Apple has in the works will have high-resolution displays, more than a dozen cameras, a powerful Mac-level chip, and more, with full details are available in our roundup of AR/VR headsets.

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