Apple Vision Pro Virtual Keyboard Blasted As 'Complete Write-Off'

Anyone paying attention to Apple's Vision Pro headset unveiling at WWDC 2023 will have seen its virtual keyboard demo. The keyboard floats in mid-air, allowing you to input text in your spatial computing environment while wearing the device.

apple vision pro virtual keyboard
However, anyone planning to ditch their physical keyboard may want to hold onto it for a little while longer: According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the virtual keyboard experience in visionOS 1.0 is "a complete write-off," and most people will want to use a Bluetooth keyboard instead.

"The Vision Pro virtual keyboard is a complete write-off at least in 1.0," wrote Gurman in an X post. "You have to poke each key one finger at a time like you did before you learned how to type. There is no magical in-air typing. You can also look at a character and pinch. You'll want a Bluetooth keyboard."

According to Apple, the buttons on the virtual keyboard are raised above the platter to mimic the affordance of pushing physical keys, and the keyboard even includes feedback via spatial sound effects to "compensate for the missing tactile information."

Going on what Gurman said though, it doesn't sound like Apple has quite perfected the experience, which is probably always going to be degraded by the fatigue caused by having to hold your hands in the air to type, regardless of what Apple does to improve it in future software updates. Fortunately, Vision Pro can wirelessly connect to Mac accessories including the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Trackpad for more traditional tactile input.

Starting at $3,499, Apple Vision Pro pre-orders open on Friday, January 19 at 5.00 a.m. PST, and the device goes on sale in the U.S. on Friday, February 2, with availability in Canada and the United Kingdom expected to follow later in the year.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Smartass Avatar
22 weeks ago
The only effective way of typing is via physical keyboard. Humans have this really great feature, thats called "fingers", which allow them to touch, feel and use stuff, even when not looking directly at it. Believe it or not, It's highly effective. But unfortunately, majority of developers and UX designers these days think, that the answer to "what comes next after physical keyboard/buttons?" is a solution via touchscreen. You can see this sheer stupidity in modern cars like Tesla, Mercedes, Audi, BMW etc. where they keep removing phyiscal buttons, and replacing them with touchscreen. Typing "in-air" like this keyboard utilizes, is on same level as touchscreen typing - It's annoying, it's cumbersome and it's stupid.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
one more Avatar
22 weeks ago
Give it time, people, the thing has not even been released yet!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cosmichobo Avatar
22 weeks ago
Steve Jobs would NEVER have allowed this to go to market...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wikiverse Avatar
22 weeks ago
Oh man, I can't wait to spent more money on a bluetooth keyboard to be able to use my $3500 monitor that no one else can see for basic tasks like typing. It's all so lightweight and mobile. Pretty soon, we won't need to type we'll just be flinging windows all over the place and evolving into crab people. This is the future.

Apple couldn't even get the iPad to be a productive tool without an external keyboard and a pencil, why did anyone at Apple think that the future of computers is just moving windows around in a virtual space with pinching gestures?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foobarbaz Avatar
22 weeks ago

Typing "in-air" like this keyboard utilizes, is on same level as touchscreen typing - It's annoying, it's cumbersome and it's stupid.
Unlike touch screens, this actually has a huge benefit: You don't need to have a carry/get/go to a physical thing.

If you actually write something long, you should sit down at your desk with a keyboard. But using a keyboard for every little text input would severely impact the flexibility of this device. It's a shame if it's not good, but at least there's also speech input.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Antoniosmalakia Avatar
22 weeks ago
I don't think it really matters how brilliant (or not) the virtual keyboard is, because once the novelty of Vision Pro wears off, it'll sit and gather dust.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)