Apple Search Moves Into Mixed Reality With Vision Pro, Messages

Apple today announced a few updates to search-related features during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California. The most revolutionary -- the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset -- introduces the world to spatial computing.

“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

The headset incorporates augmented and virtual reality. It requires wearers to use their eyes, hands and voice to control the system.

The Vision Pro includes a three-dimensional interface where apps appear to pop up in the room the user occupies. A knob called the digital crown, also found on the Apple Watch, controls how immersed users want to feel while wearing the headset.

The device uses advanced eye tracking to let wearers use their eyes to highlight an app or other field. Tap a finger to select a field or flick the wrist to scroll. Voice for the search bar lets users speak to enter a query to search for information.

With the headset, users have browsing tabs arranged around them, stretch screens for a movie-theater experience, and can join video calls with spatial audio that can mimic an in-person interaction. The device also supports Apple's Magic Keyboard and Trackpad.

Messages also got an update related to the search field that allows users to add terms of the top queries. The function allows users to search individual text message threads for important parts of conversations. And there’s an arrow that takes the user to the last message read.

Most people probably delete messages after a few days, but for those who do not, the search features will come in handy.

For example, when looking for a description of a restaurant that someone sent months ago., the user can enter "restaurant" into the text search and it will bring up every time the word "restaurant" appeared in the text during that time period. 

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