Netflix says it won’t have an app for Apple Vision Pro

Joining the likes of Youtube and Spotify, Netflix has confirmed that it won’t be developing a dedicated app for Apple’s highly anticipated Vision Pro, a futuristic and ambitious mixed-reality headset set to debut on February 2 with a hefty price tag of $3,499. “Our members will be able to enjoy Netflix on the web browser on the Vision Pro, similar to how our members can enjoy Netflix on Macs,” Netflix said in a statement.

Contrary to previous signals in July, Netflix has chosen not to create a bespoke app for the Vision Pro or adapt its existing iPad app for the platform. Users looking to consume Netflix content on the device can do so through a web browser. This pivot hints at Netflix adopting a cautious “wait-and-see” approach, gauging the market dynamics and consumer response to Apple’s ambitious venture into mixed reality.

Apple has positioned the Vision Pro as a premium entertainment device, aiming to leverage a diverse range of content to promote this innovative technology. While Apple has secured support from several streaming services, including Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and Paramount Plus, Netflix’s decision not to align itself closely with the Vision Pro poses questions about the device’s broader appeal.

The Vision Pro is designed to run two main types of apps: newly developed software tailored for the device’s interface and existing iPad applications. Apple has facilitated a seamless transition for developers by simplifying the process of transferring their current iPad apps to the new platform, fostering an ecosystem for the Vision Pro. However, Netflix’s choice to eschew the existing iPad approach suggests a more reserved stance toward Apple’s latest foray into mixed reality.

The absence of a dedicated Netflix app introduces several implications for Vision Pro users. Notably, the popular feature of offline viewing, allowing users to download content for on-the-go consumption, will be unavailable. Furthermore, the lack of a dedicated app means users won’t have access to custom environments for streaming, potentially diminishing the immersive experience that Apple aims to deliver with the Vision Pro.

Netflix isn’t the only major player avoiding direct integration with the Vision Pro. YouTube and Spotify have also announced that they do not currently plan to develop new apps for visionOS, the operating system of the Vision Pro. This collective decision by major streaming services underscores the competitive dynamics within the streaming industry. Each platform is strategically deciding how to engage with Apple’s latest venture into mixed reality, revealing the nuanced relationships at play.

As of now, Apple has chosen not to comment on Netflix’s decision. The lack of dedicated apps from major streaming services could impact the overall appeal of the Vision Pro. While Apple has secured support from various streaming services, the absence of major players like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify introduces a complex dynamic in the competitive landscape of entertainment devices.