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Apple headset won’t ‘need’ an iPhone, but you might want one nearby

Apple’s forthcoming AR/VR headset ‘probably’ won’t require an iPhone for set-up, according to a new report.

Unlike the initial Apple Watch releases, for example, the rumoured mixed reality headset will operate completely independently of the iPhone. That’s according to Bloomberg’s in-the-know Apple reporter Mark Gurman.

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Although it will be possible to transfer data manually from an iPhone or iPad, Gurman writes that set up will be perfectly possible by accessing the user’s iCloud data from the cloud.

“I’m told that the latest test versions of the device and its onboard xrOS operating system can be set up without an iPhone and can download a user’s content and iCloud date directly from the cloud,” Gurman writes in his weekly Power On newsletter.

The report does say users may still want to leverage their iPhone for initial set up and testing though, largely due to the kinks being ironed with a key usability feature.

Rather than a “remote control” Gurman reiterates the headset will rely on in-air typing for text input. However, it’s “been finicky in testing” to data, according to the reporter.

He adds: “The hope within Apple is to make rapid improvements after the device is released. The company expects its headset to follow the same path as the original Apple Watch in that respect.”

The current plan is reportedly for Apple to reveal the headset during the annual WWDC conference in June. Apple usually outlines its software advancements for later in the year at this event, but hardware has appeared from time to time.

Given the reports the headset was due to be unveiled at multiple points prior to this, it certainly would be surprising to see Apple push the launch into the autumn, especially if there are still kinks to iron out.

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