Finally, Apple has granted a request we have all been longing to see in our future iPhones… A.R. Following the announcement of their two newest devices (iPhone 8 and iPhone X), Apple has made sure to showcase their new USP feature in a stylish and entertaining way, providing demonstrations and examples of what to expect from their latest software advancements.

The Basics: What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (or A.R) is the integration between a digital world and a user’s real life environment in real time. Many get confused between A.R and V.R (Virtual Reality) however, the main difference between the two is V.R creates a totally artificial environment whereas A.R uses your existing environment, overlaying images and content on top.  

What is ARKit?

Apple unveiled their much anticipated ‘ARKit: Augmented Reality for iOS’. This new piece of Apple technology brings to the table a cutting-edge system which allows their developers to create authentic and strong AR apps for iOS. Whilst the normal public won’t ever actually use ARKit, we will all be the first to see its results as iOS 11 continues to improve and upgrade.  

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What devices will be able to use ARKit apps?

As this is content made exclusively by Apple, the ARKit will be limited to Apple devices. However, not all Apple products will unfortunately be able to test this new technology as the Kit will need to run on iOS devices running Apple’s A9 or A10 processor chips. This means that the only devices able to support the Kit includes: iPhone SE, iPhone 6S (and Plus), iPhone 7 (and Plus), iPhone 8 (and Plus), iPhone X, iPad 2017 and iPad Pro.

Is there an equivalent for Android?

Whilst there is still a lot of buzz around Apple’s ARKit, it wouldn’t be fair to not also mention the equivalent kit developed by Google for Android. Their version of A.R development is known as ‘ARCore’. This allows Google’s developers to incorporate the functionality of A.R to existing Android mobiles. Due to it still being tested and refined, the kit hasn’t been released to all Android phones. As of current, ARCore apps will be running on devices supporting Android 7.0 Nougat or above, which means that the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 phones will be able to run the kit. However, this will not be set in stone forever as Google is looking to expand the range of Android devices that will be capable of A.R as they will be releasing their newest software to the millions of Android phones in the world sometime this Winter. So, Android lovers should keep their eyes open and be ready to update their devices soon.

Why should you use AR apps?

Recently, Apple has showcased just how great A.R can be. With examples like ‘Porsche AR’, ‘MeasureKit’, ‘Sky Guide’, ‘Kings of Pool’ and ‘IKEA Place’ being pushed into the App Store, it is safe to say that we can expect to see much more of this technology as it continues to push the boundaries and become more mainstream. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen how apps have evolved and changed, so why stop seeing through that change now as it continues through its journey? Give one of the apps mentioned above a try and I can guarantee you’ll be just as excited about the journey and rise of A.R as us. 

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