Apple headset references removed from the Apple Devices app

The “xrOS” and “RealityOS” Apple headset references recently found in the Apple Devices Windows app have been removed from the latest update.

The Apple Devices app for Windows showcasing managing the connected iPod
The Apple Devices app replaces iTunes for Windows | Image: Apple
  • The “xrOS” and “RealityOS” Apple headset referebces are no longer present in the preview version of the Apple Devices app for Windows 11.
  • “xrOS” refers to the “Extended reality operating system” and “RealityOS” was how Apple internally called the software while it was being developed.
  • The move is unusual as it signals that Apple was aware that these references were solid proof that its rumored AR/VR headset could be around the corner.

Apple headset references gone from the Apple Devices app

In January 2023, Apple released Windows 11 previews of its Music, TV and Devices apps on the Microsoft Store. The Windows Devices app is Apple’s new solution for syncing its devices with Windows computers, replacing iTunes.

Code spelunking revealed Apple headset references (“xrOS” and “RealityOS”) in the app, but Apple has now scrubbed them from the latest update.

This is yet another solid indication that Apple was displeased with the finding in the first place. Why would Apple remove mentions of “xrOS” and “RealityOS” from the app if there were no AR/VR headset in the works?

The Cupertino company previously trademarked the terms “Reality OS,” “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” “Reality Processor” and “xrOS,” sending a strong signal that an announcement could be around the corner.

8K viewport and Mac-level power

Rendering imagining Apple's Reality Pro headset in four colors
Apple’s headset will be a major product launch | Image: Ahmed Chenni/

The headset has been in development for seven years now. The accessory was supposed to come out in 2021, then in 2022. And now, all checks indicate that the headset will be unveiled at WWDC, which runs from June 5-9.

It’s believed that Apple loaned headset prototypes to write augmented reality apps that will be offered via a dedicated App Store. Apple should also detail the xrOS platform and officially release APIs and tools for all developers at WWDC.

Apple’s headset should be available to purchase sometime in the fall or closer to the end of 2023, priced at around $3,000. The accessory should sport two micro-OLED 4K screens for an 8K display area, eye and hand tracking cameras, a custom Mac-level chip built on TSMC’s 3nm process, and other cutting-edge hardware.

It should have a Digital Crown-like dial for seamless switching between the virtual and augmented reality worlds and a proprietary charging connector integrated with an external battery pack. Aside from AR/VR apps written specifically for the headset, the thing should also run the current iPad apps available on the App Store.