Meta Is Working On A Horizon OS "Spatial App Framework" For Porting Apps & Building New Ones

Meta is developing on a new “spatial app framework” for Horizon OS.

The company says that with this upcoming framework “developers will be able to use the tools they’re already familiar with to bring their mobile apps to Meta Horizon OS or to create entirely new mixed reality apps”.

Meta Horizon OS Will Run On Headsets From ASUS & Lenovo
Meta is rebranding its Quest software platform to Meta Horizon OS and opening it up to third-party headset makers, including ASUS and Lenovo.

If you didn’t catch the news already, Horizon OS is the new name for the Quest system software, which is also being made available to third-party headset makers, starting with ASUS, Lenovo, and potentially LG too.

Right now developing even simple spatial apps for Quest (soon Horizon OS) requires using a game engine or essentially developing your own game engine, arguably too heavy and complex for simple apps. In contrast, Apple’s visionOS allows developers to build apps with a similar workflow to mobile apps, using Apple’s Swift language and SwiftUI and RealityKit frameworks.

Meta isn’t going into detail yet about the technical specifics of its upcoming “spatial app framework”, but it sounds like it might be intended to be an equivalent to Apple’s approach for simple apps that don’t require a full game engine.

The primary aim of the framework though seems to be to bring more existing 2D mobile apps to Meta’s platform. The visionOS app store offers millions of iPad and iPhone apps, and Google’s upcoming Android XR platform will likely offer the Google Play store of 2D Android apps. Meta currently lacks any equivalent beyond simple web apps.

Meta CTO: We Asked Google To Bring Play Store To Quest
Meta’s CTO says Google declined a request to bring its Play Store to Quest.

Interested developers can sign up here for access to Meta’s spatial app framework when it becomes available.