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Apple Reportedly Gave its AR/VR Software a Real Name: Here's What That Tells Us

The new operating system name could confirm the direction of Apple's AR, VR headsets.

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Apple has reportedly renamed the software that runs its upcoming augmented reality and virtual reality headset ahead of the product's potential release next year. 

While the operating system had been internally named "realityOS," it's now been switched to "xrOS," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported Thursday. That could reflect the headset's focus on extended reality ("XR"), which encompasses both AR and VR. 

Embracing "xrOS" would also be a departure from what seemed like a broad naming convention, as trademarks had popped up with product-sounding names like Reality One, Reality Pro and Reality Processor. The new Bloomberg report notes that a new shell corporation called Deep Dive has filed trademarks for "xrOS" in several countries and is in the process of securing the name in the US. Both cases could be true: the operating system could have been renamed, but the Reality brand could continue as the headset series name.

While a previous Bloomberg report suggested internal disagreement within Apple on whether to develop separate AR and VR headsets, the new xrOS name fits more recent rumors that a mixed-reality headset is on its way. Whichever the case, Apple's first headset could be pricey: a rumor last year suggested the company's first VR headset would be "far more expensive" than other VR products that come in under $900 -- though it's unclear if it would be more exorbitantly priced that the $1,500 Meta Quest Pro.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.