It’s been one of the truisms of the nascent consumer virtual reality era: No matter how cool the technology is, Apple users have been more or less locked out, as in practice, the only way for Mac or iPhone users to get their hands on VR has been with a Google Cardboard-level headset. In other words, the lowest-possible end of the VR spectrum, while none of the middle- and high-end systems like Samsung’s Gear VR, Google’s Daydream View, the Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive were compatible with Apple hardware. The reason? Macs and iPhones were said not to provide the graphics power to make VR systems work.
That could be coming to an end. Today at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company embraced VR. On stage at WWDC, the company showed how, thanks to a new external graphics chip, Mac developers will be able to work with a beta version of the Steam virtual reality operating system and the latest MacOS, High Sierra, to utilize the Vive on MacBooks. And while this doesn’t mean that millions of current Mac users will likely be using Vives anytime soon, it is the first important crack in the wall, one that we can hope will lead, before too long, both to Apple embracing virtual reality, and the VR industry in turn embracing Apple.