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🥽 Coding on the Vision Pro

Written Feb 11, 2024. (This is a draft.)

Last week, while browsing Apple's website, I noticed the Vision Pro was available for "Pickup Today" at a nearby Apple Store. Considering I can resell it at no loss once I return to France, I couldn't resist.

So I went to pick it up. Trying it in the Apple Store I was quite disappointed initially with the demo. After getting home and struggling for hours to create a US Apple ID (since the Vision OS app store is US-only), I finally got to properly explore the Vision Pro.

The most exciting feature for me was the possibility of using it as a portable second monitor that I can use everywhere.

After using it for hours over the past week for work (mostly coding), here is my initial feedback.


Working from the top of a mountain (with ambient sound & reverb) without visual distractions from people doing stuff in the background is really cool.

Even though the virtual environment feels very "unreal" / videogamey, the trick on the brain works quite well. It feels nice.

In airplanes or cafes, also nice to not feel people watching over your shoulder.

The narrow FOV has a nice side effect of increasing focus in my opinion (I remember Huberman mentioning using a hood to enhance focus in one of his episodes.)

Text readability

Main issue for me is with the resolution. Watching videos, browsing, etc. is quite good. But focusing on tiny code in the IDE, my eyes start hurting after 30 minutes.

I realize this is state-of-the-art for VR, and it's definitely already very impressive.

It works fine for short session, but not really usable for long focused work sessions in my opinion.

(I don't use glasses and have no vision issues.)

A few tweaks to make the text slightly more legible:

  • Bringing the virtual display window closer to me (makes text sharper but strains the eye muscles more)
  • Increasing font size slightly
  • Decreasing the virtual display resolution (but you lose half of the screen real estate)
  • Enabling anti-aliasing in VSCode
  • Increasing the contrast between text/background in my IDE

It's definitely "okay", but nowhere close to the Mac's built-in display in my experience. It's a weird feeling, like the eyes are close from being able to focus on the text, but not quite all the way.

Interestingly, some text such as on the terminal, does feel slightly easier to read as well. Could be a placebo; not sure what's going on there.

It gets worst when I'm tired and doesn't feel as bad when I'm just starting to use it.

I found the best distance is to have the virtual display window just a little bit further of where I'd normally have my Mac's screen.



Speaking of typing, in 100% virtual environment I'll definitely make typing mistakes.

By enabling the virtual environment at ~50%, I can still see where my Mac's keyboard is, which fixes the issue.


It'd be nice if there was an option to go 100% into the virtual environment but still passthrough the keyboard or area around the hands.

Also, I find myself sometimes using the eyes & pinch gestures on my Mac screen inadvertently at times until I remember it's not a VisionOS app.


It does take a bit of adjusting the straps to find a comfortable position. The dual loop one is better for longer use but I'll still feel pressure on the nose and cheeks.

I start to feel the weight a lot after 45 min, and after 1h30 it becomes very uncomfortable (expect red "snow goggles" marks on your face when taking it off).

I can't see myself using it for more than 1h30 hours straight without being in layed down position.

So not perfect, but not a deal breaker for me by taking breaks.

The eye fatigue on the other hand is the real limitation for me. When working with code, I'd say I need to take breaks from the headset every 30 mins max to rest my eyes.

Apps & window limitation

I'm not too disappointed by the limitation of having 1 virtual screen.

For my workflow, multiple screens can be more of a distraction as I like to focus on 1 thing. It'd still be nice to spin out the terminal or Spotify on a separate window so I don't need to switch desktops. Also, having multiple screens would mean swiveling of the neck, which is felt more with the weight of the headset.

Other thoughts:

  • no noticeable latency from the display with both my MacBook Pro and Air
  • the "seamless" input sharing between Mac and Vision pro works 1/2 of the time for me, so not always usable
  • it doesn't re-connect to the Mac automatically after taking the headset off, which is a bit annoying
  • audio is really good and immersive, feels like having headphones without something in your ear. spotify in the browser works fine.


We're close but not fully there yet.

I can see myself using this very occasionally at home or in places where I need to focus but the environment isn't suitable (cafes, planes or crowded rooms if I can overcome the embarassement of being that guy ^^).

But this definitely won't become my main working environment just yet.

In 1 or 2 generations, as the pixel density of the screens increases and the weight of the device decreases, I can see myself spending a lot of time working with this.

Also, it could potentially replace my traveling setup: keyboard, trackpad, and laptop stand:

Traveling setup