As 9to5Mac’s Gui Rambo first shared back in April and detailed more specifics just last week, Apple is working on bringing Stereo AR to iOS and has been testing it with two Apple headsets and one third-party device. Now, Gui and developer Steve Troughton-Smith have found Apple’s StarBoard framework for its upcoming stereo AR in the iOS 13 golden master as well as iOS 13.1 beta 3.
Gui previously described:
Engineers have also been developing support for stereo AR in iOS – as reported by 9to5Mac back in April – but the project may not be the “Apple Glasses” everyone has been talking about. It consists of support for a face-mounted AR experience, which can be compared to Google’s Daydream, and has been in internal testing with support for two Apple devices (codenamed Luck and Franc) and a third-party device, HoloKit.
Stereo AR apps on iPhone work similar to CarPlay, with support for stereo AR declared in the app’s manifest. These apps can run in either “held mode”, which is basically normal AR mode, or “worn mode”, which is when used with one of these external devices. A new system shell – called StarBoard – hosts extensions that support the new AR mode, similar to how WatchKit apps worked in the original Watch.
Steve Troughton-Smith discovered today that the iOS 13 GM includes an explicit readme that describes how to run Stereo AR apps without Apple’s headset.
The iOS 13 GM also comes with a readme file (!) for how employees can run Stereo AR apps on an iPhone when you don’t have access to Apple’s headset 😳 pic.twitter.com/SeZEHW8p0S
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019
Gui noted that Apple may have wanted to unveil Stereo AR and the headset(s) at its iPhone event but could have been pulled at the last minute.
To me this looks like the announcement was planned for the keynote, but dropped last minute. 🧐 https://t.co/pQ96A2srh9
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 10, 2019
In a surprising move, Apple left the StarBoard system shell for stereo AR apps in both the iOS 13 GM and today’s iOS 13.1 beta 3.
iOS 13.1 beta 3 and iOS 13.0 GM include the new StarBoard system shell, to run stereo AR apps. Is this real life? https://t.co/TxaX0un1dk pic.twitter.com/9LRuvIIzyc
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 11, 2019
STS mentioned how it’s strange that Apple pulled all mentions of its upcoming item tracker but didn’t bother to remove AR Stereo references.
Apple had the time to rip out all the Apple Tag references in iOS 13, but somehow managed to leave all the AR headset subsystems in? Not that I’m complaining, but, wat. 😟
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 11, 2019