The NFL doesn't have a dedicated Apple Vision Pro app yet, but that didn't stop me from trying to watch parts of Super Bowl 2024 through Apple's spatial computer. And I have to tell you it looked glorious.
It's just too bad I couldn't bring myself to watch the Big Game for long. And it has nothing to do with this headset's capabilities.
I gave the Vision Pro my first shot during the Super Bowl pregame show, firing up the Paramount Plus app on the device. Note that this is a so-called Compatible App, which means that Paramount Plus has not yet developed a native Vision Pro app. But this supersized iPad app inside the headset was still impressive.
Once I went into full-screen mode I made the video window about as large as my living room wall, dwarfing my 65-inch Samsung QLED TV. And the picture was very crisp even at this large size. I felt like I was on the stage when Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy was drafted last.
About a minute into the interview my son informed me that one of our dogs had thrown up right next to my chair, so I took the Vision Pro off and tended to that mess. I was not about to be that guy who closed off the world as other stuff was happening around me. And don't get me started about that cat food commercial where the mom doesn't get up from the couch when her son says he's bleeding.
I gave the Vision Pro another shot during the 3rd quarter when Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce deep in the Chiefs' own territory. It was like watching the Super Bowl on a movie screen, and I really felt the impact during the replay as Kelce collided with a few 49ers defenders on his way to the first-down marker. It was almost like I had a ticket to hang out on the sidelines.
But this euphoria was short-lived as I really didn't want to stop watching the Super Bowl with my son. Sure, we were in the same room sitting next to each other. But the Paramount Plus app was actually ahead of the YouTube TV app we were using to watch the game on TV. I wanted to react to the same action at the same time together.
More important, I felt like an anti-social Vision Hole. It's one thing if you're going to watch sports by yourself. And I've already said how awesome the Vision Pro MLB and NBA apps are. But putting on the Vision Pro during the biggest game of the year around family and friends just feels rude and wrong. And it's not like I can spring for two more Vision Pro headsets at $3,500 a pop.
So for the rest of the game I watched the Super Bowl with my relatively lackluster QLED TV. And it was still exciting to see the overtime action — not because of the visuals but because of the time spent with my son in particular. Like we couldn't believe that the 49ers defense couldn't make one more stop as Mahomes was marching down the field. And on more than one occasion he turned and said to me "this is wild."
So will I use the Vision Pro to watch sports again to watch the NFL? Yes, but most likely when the rest of the family is busy doing something else or when I'm on a business trip and just hanging out at the hotel. Or I'll just have to stick to sports no one else in the household cares about. New York Yankees season here I come!
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.
And even if you had one for everyone in the family, it's still just awkward to independently watch the game "together" that way.Reply