The first Apple ARKit-enabled augmented reality apps have arrived.
Apple announced its augmented reality (AR) platform -- ARKit -- at WWDC 2017 in June. The platform has been open to developers ever since, giving them ample time to create new AR apps ahead of iOS 11's release. Now that the software update is available, developers are launching these apps on the Apple App Store. Here are several of the newest ones you should check out after updating to iOS 11.
Keep in mind ARKit-enabled apps can only run newer devices, like the iPhone 6S or later, the iPad Pro, and the latest 9.7-inch iPad. If you want to know more about ARKit and how it allows developers to easily create new AR-based experiences, check out our guide here.
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Best ARKit-enabled AR apps
Augmented reality isn't a new technology. But Apple has decided to fully embrace it, and naturally, everyone's been talking about it. You see, while virtual reality immerses you into a space, essentially replacing everything you see in a physical world, AR takes the world around you and adds virtual objects to it. You can look with your phone, for instance, and see a Pokemon standing in your living room.
Try these new apps for more examples of AR:
If you love GIFs, check out the repository Giphy. Its latest app, Giphy World, lets you add AR-powered 3D GIFs to the world around you and you can record video, too. You then share your creations with friends who also have the app, allowing you to communicate in AR.
Ikea's latest app helps you to visualize its products in your home, whether that be a kitchen cabinet or minimalist lamp. More than 2,000 Ikea products are currently available in the app, so you can hone your interior design skills without having to spend a cent.
The main Overstock app, which is for the popular online retail website, lets you place 3D models of thousands of Overstock products right into your home. You can then share pictures of the AR models, add the Overstock items to your cart, and even pay for them via Apple Pay.
Housecraft is a furniture arrangement app with a range of items that can be resized to fit in your room. We consider this a planning app more than an app you'd use to shop, like you would with Ikea Place. It also has a disaster feature that lets you create havoc in a room.
Looking to shop for a new or used car? Check out this extensive vehicle database and you will be able to visualize a potential vehicle purchase by placing it in your garage or driveway. Edmunds said you can use this AR feature to confirm if a car will fit wherever you'll want to park it.
MeasureKit costs $2.99. But that'd be money well spent, because with this app, you can measure almost anything using your iPhone or iPad camera, including angles, room dimensions, and even leveling. The ruler tool is free, but the other ones come with the app's sticker price.
TapMeasure is like other measurement apps, but it goes a step further, letting you create floor plans and 3D room models, which you can then export as CAD files. It's free to download and use, though some features, like the CAD file export one, cost extra.
Night Sky lets you identify stars, planets, constellations, and satellites. And now it has a "Grand Orrery" premium feature (costs $1.99 a month) that lets you see the Solar System in your home. You can walk around it, zoom in on planets, and explore -- all in AR.
This cheeky weather app has a new AR mode, thanks to ARKit, so you can get "hilariously snarky forecasts" in AR. The team behind the app, which costs $2.99 in the US, also warned users not to poke the ocular sensor, which, now you know you totally will.
Here’s another cool AR app from Carrot weather pic.twitter.com/KhsSd1Tara— Todd Haselton (@robotodd) September 19, 2017
This $2.99 app uses social fitness-tracking app Strava's API. With Fitness AR, athletes can see their routes on a 3D terrain map powered by Mapbox. Another cool feature is screen recording. With it, you pan and zoom through routes and create a video that can be shared.