Google reportedly plans to develop a YouTube app for the Apple Vision Pro. The Verge says a YouTube spokesperson confirmed the company’s plans to make a native Vision Pro app, while it optimizes YouTube for Safari as a stopgap. The U-turn comes after developer Christian Selig (creator of the popular Apollo app that Reddit killed in 2023) launched an unofficial YouTube app for Apple’s $3,500 headset.
“We’re excited to see Vision Pro launch and we’re supporting it by ensuring YouTube users have a great experience in Safari,” YouTube spokesperson Jessica Gibby reportedly wrote in an email to The Verge’s Nilay Patel. “We do not have any specific plans to share at this time, but can confirm that a Vision Pro app is on our roadmap.”
Despite Vision Pro launching with over 600 native apps, YouTube said as recently as January 19 that it had no plans for a Vision Pro app. (Netflix is another high-profile holdout.) In addition, a YouTube company spokesperson told Engadget at the time it also had no plans to make its iPad app available on the visionOS App Store. Porting iPad apps is the (relatively) quick and easy way for developers to get their software onto Apple’s “spatial computing” device.
Something changed the company’s mind in the last two-and-a-half weeks. One theory is, despite its staggering $3,500 price, Apple’s mixed reality headset appears to be off to a strong start as the company’s most loyal and deep-pocketed fans quickly scooped up pre-orders. Well-sourced analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimated Apple sold somewhere between 160,000 and 180,000 headsets during its opening weekend.
Another theory is that YouTube noticed an independent developer picking up its slack. Christian Selig, the maker of the now-defunct Apollo for Reddit app, launched an unofficial third-party YouTube app called Juno that was available at launch. Selig has significant trust and stature among Apple device users: He’s a former Apple developer and creator of one of iOS users’ favorite Reddit apps (before the company’s controversial API rules effectively killed most third-party Reddit apps).
“YouTube is probably one of the parts of the internet I consume the most, so I was more than a little sad when YouTube announced that they don’t have plans to build a visionOS app, and disabled the option to load the iPad app,” Selig explained last week in a blog post. “This leaves you with Safari, and the website is okay, but definitely doesn’t feel like a visionOS app.”