This year’s WWDC saw Apple catch up with the rest of the tech world on a number of fronts and there’s no better example of that than the announcements the company made regarding augmented and virtual reality.

For those interested in the former: Apple are bringing out ARKit.

The new software toolset promises to make augmented reality experiences on the iPhone easier to create and share.

Essentially, it looks very similar to the kind of dev-friendly AR platform that Facebook talked up last month.

However, as an interesting point of difference, it looks like it’ll be coming to the iPad and iPhone before MacOS – suggesting that Apple are looking to make the production pipeline for AR experiences on the iPhone a very streamlined one.

Apple say the dev kit will come with support for Unity, Unreal Engine and Scenekit and during Apple’s WWDC event, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering talked it up as “the largest AR platform in the world” as a result of Apple’s existing userbase.

Meanwhile, for developers interested in producing virtual reality experiences, Apple have announced an external GPU (connecting to your iMac or Macbook via a Thunderbolt 3 port) specifically designed to make VR development possible on Mac.

The accessory leverages the grunt of an integrated AMD Radeon RX 580 is envisioned as a perfect companion to the graphical heft of the company’s newest iMac.

external graphics hero large Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits

For developers, it’ll cost $599. A consumer-grade version is also said to be in the works but no word on pricing and availability yet.

It’ll be arriving alongside the Mac version of SteamVR, which moved into beta this morning.

It’s still unknown whether Apple plans to partner with existing VR hardware players or develop their own kit when it comes to actually consuming these VR experiences – though their presentation at this year’s WWDC did feature a HTC Vive for demonstration purposes.

BW Trade In 728x90 1 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
JBHIFI Pre order Ampere 728 x 90 media Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
2231 NEXUS 4SQM Digital Banner Ads Leaderboard 728x90 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
PAN1992 MWO Banners LB 728x90px V2 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
Incase LeaderBoard 728x90 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
Olimpia Splendid Unico Cooling 728x90 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
Wave 728x90px Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
DCS 8300LHV2 728x90 smarthouse 1 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
728x90 5 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits
728x90 7 Apple Unveils VR + AR Dev Kits