Earlier this year, Digitimes reported that Apple disbanded the AR research team and stopped the development. Now it seems the fruit company may be backtracking on that decision if a recent code found in an internal build of iOS 13 is anything to go by.
According to MacRumors, the internal build includes a “STARTester” app which enables switching in and out of head-mounted mode. The functionality is presumed to be there for Apple to test an AR headset on the iPhone. Further, two modes were discovered listed in the code, worn and held.
The site also found a reference to a “StarBoard mode” inside the strings in the code, along with other Augmented Reality (AR) references such as “ARStartBoardViewController”, as well as a reference to a “StarBoard” system shell for stereo AR apps in the README file.
At this point, there’s still no clear indication as to when Apple plans on making its wearable device official anytime soon. That said, rumours suggest that Apple might just launch the AR headset by 2020. Of course, this is all just hearsay and speculation, so we do advise you to take this news with a pinch of salt. At least, until Apple makes it official.