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April 12, 2018

The best ARCore apps to try out on your Android smartphone

by John_A

It hasn’t been long since Google launched ARCore 1.0, its framework for augmented-reality (AR) apps on the Android operating system. Similar to Apple’s ARKit on iOS, the technology allows you to place virtual objects in a physical space using your Android phone. Developers recently released more than 60 apps on the Google Play Store that use Google’s ARCore platform, which works across 100 million Android devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher.

Whether it’s gaming, shopping, or art, there’s an AR app for a variety of categories. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best ARCore apps for you to try out yourself.

My Tamagotchi Forever

Aside from being able to raise your own Tamagotchi in My Tamagotchi Forever, you can also play hide and seek with it in AR. Set in Tamatown, you can place the village on any surface to play. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the different Tamagotchis you need to find throughout each level. Once you’re all set up, you can use your phone to walk through the town and search for the characters among homes, buildings, trees, and more.

Just a Line

For those who want to get in touch with their more creative side, Just a Line from Google lets you bring drawings to life — quite literally. Using the camera, simply point at the area where you’d like to draw and press your finger on your smartphone screen to begin doodling. While there’s only one color you can draw in, you’re able to choose the thickness of the lines to add different details to your sketches. The app is reminiscent of Google’s Tilt Brush virtual reality app, which allows users to paint in a 3D space and is only available on expensive VR devices. Even though Just a Line only lets you make simple drawings, having it on your smartphone makes it far more accessible. After you’re done with a drawing, walk around it to see it from various angles. You can also record your creations via the app and share the short video with others.

Pottery Barn 3D Room View

Looking for new furniture? Pottery Barn 3D Room View lets you virtually place furniture inside an empty space. You can choose from pieces like rugs, sofas, coffee tables, ottomans, and more. Zoom in to see the details on each furniture set, and change up colors to match your house’s color scheme. If you’re satisfied with the furniture, you then have the option to purchase it. After adding what you like to your shopping bag, you’ll see the quantity of each item, the price breakdown, and the total amount. When you’re ready, the app will direct you to Pottery Barn’s website to complete the transaction.

ARuler – AR ruler app

With ARuler, you can measure spaces with your smartphone camera by aiming it on the detected horizontal plane. You can measure distance and angles on detected 3D planes, volume of 3D objects, length of a path on a planned route, and height relative to the surface. There’s an on-screen ruler included in the app as well, to help measure smaller objects.

Ikea Place

Similar to Pottery Barn 3D Room View, Ikea Place lets you virtually place specific products and furniture into your space. After scanning the floor space around you, you can choose pieces from Ikea’s catalog to try out. By tapping on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a list of various collections but you can also browse by category. Once you choose your product, it’ll appear on the screen and you can move it around before tapping on it to securely drop it in place. There’s also a feature that allows you to tap on a piece of furniture you already have, and it will curate similar-looking products from Ikea. Since the Ikea Store isn’t integrated, you’ll have to order the furniture separately — but you do have the option to save specific pieces for when you’re ready to purchase them.

We’ll be adding more ARCore apps over the coming months as we play around with more of them. In the meantime, check out our best Android apps and best Android games guides for new apps to try.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Over 60 ARCore apps are now available from the Google Play Store
  • Online shopping at Overstock gets easier with AR functionality in its app
  • Draw a line on the world around you with Google’s ‘Just a Line’ ARCore app
  • Try before you buy with the new AR View on Amazon’s Android app
  • Who you gonna call? ‘Ghostbusters World’ AR game will slime phones in 2018


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