By Casey Liss
A Vision

This is my desk, today. Captured in situ, which is to say, messy as it always is:

A messy desktop with 3× 5K monitors upon it.

Upon it, from left-to-right:

  • A LG UltraFine 5K that was graciously given to me
    This monitor lives on my desk in the winter and is mostly used on the back porch in summer.
  • An Apple Studio Display
  • A LG UltraFine 5K that I bought secondhand from a podcaster friend

This is, by my count, 44,236,800 pixels of real estate[1]. I could absolutely get my work done in a single 5K display. I’ve found over the last couple years that I prefer to use 2× 5K. And if I have another just sitting around during the winter, why not add a third? It’s a bit overkill, but, #yolo.

Having all this space lets me spread out while I do my work. I organize things by display, and generally, it’s something like this:

  • Left: Things I don’t look at often, like mail/RSS/mastodon, as well as general-purpose browsing
  • Center: Xcode & iOS Simulator
  • Right: Git, documentation, Safari for research purposes. I also use a second Space (virtual desktop) here which runs Slack and Messages in split-screen.

I love this setup, until I leave it. Much like independent workers who are “unemployable” after enjoying just a few months of indie life[2], I feel hamstrung when I work elsewhere. Which I like to do at least once a week. I have stopgap measures, but they’re not great.

As I write this, we are a week-and-a-day away from consumers getting their hands on Apple Vision Pro. This ludicrously expensive device seems to be much like the Apple Watch — it has an ostensible purpose, but nobody really knows what consumers will actually do with it. For the Apple Watch, the purpose was fitness (or notification triage). For Apple Vision Pro, it’s entertainment, at least to start.

In thinking about where an Apple Vision Pro will fit in my life, I kept coming up short. I suspect it will be the best device in the house upon which I could watch a movie — quite a bit better than even my LG C9 and my beloved Sonos home theatre. However, watching something on Apple Vision Pro is an inherently solitary endeavor. My family can’t watch the movie I’m watching when it’s being blasted directly into my eyeballs.

I can absolutely imagine Apple Vision Pro being a phenomenal device when used on planes or trains. For better and for worse, I just don’t have the occasion to do so particularly frequently. I have made one plane journey since 2019, and one train journey.[3]

Standalone, I’m not entirely convinced Apple Vision Pro is for me. While I’m sure I’ll enjoy the rare occasions I get to use it without snubbing those around me, I don’t see those situations as being frequent enough to justify the considerable price tag.

Over the last week or so, as I debate how silly it was for me to preorder an Apple Vision Pro, I’ve found myself growing more and more excited about receiving it. This is unusual for me with Apple products, where I usually have an immediate crash of enthusiasm after a purchase. Not quite buyer’s remorse, as much as “oh, well, that’s done”. With Apple Vision Pro, I find my enthusiasm and excitement is 📈. Why?

It’s because my perspective has changed.

I remain mostly ho-hum about Apple Vision Pro as an entertainment device. Not because I doubt its capabilities — far from it. More because I just don’t have the occasion for a lot of solo media consumption today, so why would tomorrow be any different? It’s not you, it’s me.

However, with each passing day, I get incredibly excited about the prospect of Apple Vision Pro as a tool for getting work done. Though I’m very happy with my desk setup — lack of tidiness notwithstanding — it would be amazing to be able to bring that setup elsewhere.

With Apple Vision Pro, I reckon I will be able to.

Apple Vision Pro may be the best Mac accessory Apple has ever created.

Yesterday was an odd day, in which I spent time working at two different local libraries. While I was there, I realized that I am a week and change too early. If I had my Apple Vision Pro with me, I could have the workspace of my dreams, all with only my MacBook Pro and Apple Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro supports… uh… sucking-your-Mac-into-the-virtual-world mode. A 4K version of your Mac’s screen appears in the virtual space, but you can still interact with your Mac using its own keyboard and mouse.

That would allow me to build something like this extremely poor rendering shows:

A diagram showing a real desktop with a Mac on it, but a smattering of windows in 3D-space around it.

In this, I envision Slack and Messages to be the visionOS-native versions. I’m intermingling native visionOS apps with my Mac; the latter’s “monitor” is simply one window in the virtual space. That window, showing my Mac’s screen, can be surrounded by several visionOS-native apps as I see fit. The marriage of macOS and visionOS.

You know what’s better than 44 million pixels of real estate? ∞ pixels of real estate.

Now, imagine I could take things further. What if visionOS also supports Universal Control, between macOS and visionOS? Imagine I get a message in Slack or Messages, then I simply cast my gaze over to the visionOS-native app, and then start typing a response on my Mac’s keyboard.


This could genuinely level-up my ability to get my work done when away from the house.[4]

I remain blasé about Apple Vision Pro, standalone entertainment device. With each passing day I get more and more amped for Apple Vision Pro, my MacBook Pro’s greatest accessory.

The future isn’t here yet, but if Apple has done what I expect, it arrives on the second of February.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

  1. Roughly 24 million pixels more than you XDR folks. So there.

  2. I try very hard not to be unemployable, as you never know what the future holds. Here’s hoping I either never need to find out, or I can ease into the real world with grace if the time comes.

  3. Have y’all heard about trains? They rule. We Americans should look into these things more.

  4. Assuming I can get past the social stigma of being that guy. It didn’t take long with AirPods; I presume it’ll happen eventually with Apple Vision Pro too.