The Apple Vision Pro's virtual keyboard is a nightmare to use according to early adopters

The Apple Vision Pro's virtual keyboard is a nightmare to use according to early adopters

In his latest newsletter, Mark Gurman updates us on the virtual keyboard integrated into the Vision Pro's visionOS interface... and reveals that it is expected to be completely flawed in its current state.

A few weeks ahead of the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, Mark Gurman shared some additional information about Apple's mixed reality headset and its software environment that may have worried early adapters of the new technology. Gurman divulged that the first version of visionOS 1.0 features a virtual keyboard, however in its first iteration, there are some significant ergonomic issues

Unveiled for the first time at WWDC 2023, this "floating" virtual keyboard is described by Mark Gurman as being "completely terrible." Without mincing words, he suggests that early adopters of the Apple Vision Pro may be better off using a Bluetooth keyboard. With an embedded M2 chip, a virtual keyboard in need of improvement, and payment options with the Apple Card, Gurman highlights, "The virtual keyboard of the Vision Pro is completely terrible, at least in its version 1.0. You have to press each key, one finger at a time, like you did before learning to type. There is no magical air typing. You can also look at a character and pinch it. In short, you will need a Bluetooth keyboard."

On the technical side, Gurman reminds us that the Apple Vision Pro is equipped with an M2 chip, the same as in the latest generation MacBook Air, coupled with an R1 chip. Also developed in-house, the latter responsible for managing the various cameras and sensors installed on the headset. Gurman explains that the M2 chip installed on the Vision Pro has 10 GPU cores and 8 CPU cores, deviating from the standard 8 GPU cores / 8 CPU cores included in the base version of this processor.

Now that the Vision Pro has been released, it would appear that these early reports were not far from the truth. The Vision Pro's virtual keyboard is inherently difficult to use compared to a regular keyboard which people are used to. You may take for granted your ability to touch type without looking at the keys and knowing exactly where to place your keystroke. A virtual keyboard doesn't work like this. You need to look at the keyboard and carefully and deliberately select the keys that you want to use. Some reviewers have found that after a while of using the keyboard they were able to improve their technique, however it remains a distant second to a physical keyboard for typing. It is more akin to texting on a mobile device, which you typically wouldn't use for writing complex bodies of text either. It is likely that Apple will continue to update and develop the keyboard and the Vision Pro based on user feedback going forward.