Top 12 Awesome Augmented Reality (AR) Apps For Android
Augmented Reality (AR) is a very fun and very useful technology that has many uses in our day-to-day life. For those who do not know what AR is, it is a way of overlaying digital content on top of real things using something like a map, a camera, or sometimes the sky.
Whatever we do using an app is concerned with virtual world. Then we do have a real world where we exist and spend our life. What if we use apps to show the real world and virtually add a layer of information that gives the detailed description about those real-world objects. It is called augmenting information to real world seen through the apps. And thus, concept of augmented reality apps developed.
The best example of Augmented Reality is Pokemon Go, in which you can capture and train digital creatures in the real world. AR apps combine your surroundings and location to give you contextual information. You can also bring a static print ad to life, watch a movie trailer by pointing your smartphone camera at a poster, or discover nearby establishments and landmarks with your mobile device. Magazines and retail stores are starting to recognize the ubiquity of smartphones and are plastering their products with QR codes and other objects to scan.
We have collected a list of 12 best and awesome augmented reality Android apps for you to play with.
1. Pokemon GO
Pokemon Go is the biggest mobile game ever and is also best example of how a game can use Augmented Reality effectively. Pokemon Go sends players exploring their neighborhood on foot to discover, photograph and collect cute Pokemon from Nintendo's hit franchise. You will capture Pokemon, hit up PokeStops, and battle Gyms. The game is still very much in development. That means its features are evolving.
Each player's phone functions as a map and viewfinder, guiding you toward Poke Stops to collect items and helping you spot Pokemon to capture. While the game has ton of hype when it released, the hype has died down now, but the game is still fairly popular among players. It is an enjoyable experience and it will get you off the couch.
Wikitude is an augmented reality browser that can scan everyday objects and advertisements and provide various information about them using a feature it calls "computer vision". Using this app, you can explore places around the world and get added information from various content providers.
For example, it lets you scan things like magazines, newspapers, and other stuff and it shows you web results in augmented reality. Users can input a search term, say "Thai restaurants", and then raise up your smartphone camera to look around you, with a digital overlay displaying any nearby matches.
You can also select categories or "worlds" of content if you are looking for restaurants, historic locations, upcoming events and other information. Wikitude's AR and image recognition tools allows you to bring print ads and packaging to life with enhanced digital content such as animations, videos, and Web links.
Wikitude needs Internet access, compass, accelerometer, rear facing camera, OpenGL 2.0+ and at least Android 4. For precise location fetching you must have "Google Play services" app, which usually comes preinstalled on your Android phone.
A leader in what it calls "Interactive Print", it was one of the first apps to jump into the augmented reality scene. This app turns your camera into a digital scanner and displays the information about the object that you are pointing at. It also extracts the contents from the top magazines, newspapers.
Layar allows users to view embedded digital content within a variety of sources, such as posters, magazine pages, advertisements, and product QR codes. These can lead to a variety of extra content, such as movie trailers, product discount codes, linked videos, websites or alternate versions of a page or poster.
With Layar you can just point your phone at anything and it find if there are restaurants, bars, or other points of interest worth discovering. You can also scan print articles or ads to get a mixture of offers to purchase the item or perhaps see a movie trailer from a print ad.
4. Sky Map
Sky Map is a hand-held planetarium for your Android device and is one of the oldest AR apps out there. Originally developed by Google, this app can turn your smartphone to a window to watch stars, planets, nebulae, constellations, and even natural satellites.
You hold your phone up to the sky. The display will show what is above in the sky you are looking at. You can even see the pictures and galleries of the universe. It is a little tough to calibrate at first, but it's reasonably accurate once you figure it out.
5. Bixby Vision
The Bixby Vision is an extension of Samsung's personal assistant, Bixby, which will make its debut in Galaxy S8. Bixby Vision uses object recognition, text recognition and location data to add another layer of functionality to the personal assistant. Using the phone's camera, Bixby can "see" objects or points of interest and offer information about them.
Bixby Vision can also translate text in real time in more than 50 languages. Samsung says, they will release an SDK for third-party developers to use Bixby Vision in their apps.
The app is currently limited to Galaxy S8 and S8+, but we hope Samsung will release it for other Android devices.
Inkhunter is very different compared to other apps. The purpose of the app is to check how a tattoo will look like on your body before you get it. Simply draw a few lines on your body, then point your smartphone camera at those lines, and Inkhunter will show you a dynamic preview of the tattoo there.
You can try out a bunch of preset designs or even upload your own, thus making sure you will never regret having that tattoo.
Ingress is from Niantic - the company behind Pokemon Go. It was one of the first AR games on Android and it is fun to play.
Ingress is massively multiplayer augmented reality game, which had a huge buzz when it first came out. Ingress has players joining rival secret societies - the Enlightened and the Resistance, to fight for control over "Exotic Matter" (XM) leaking into our world around landmarks and famous buildings, all while a science fiction thriller story unfolds. The game shows you where some portals are. You hack the portals for your team and then build them up so that the rival team cannot.
The game encourages you to explore the world around you, meaning you go out into the real world to play. It is a suitable alternative for those who like the idea of Pokemon Go, but do not like Pokemon.
8. Google Translate
Google Translate is arguably the best translator app out there. It supports a ton of languages. You can translate back and forth between virtually any of them. You can even have it translate in real time so you can have conversations with people. The augmented reality part of the app lets you point your camera at text from another language. The app then translates it in real time. This can help you do things like read street signs or menus, making it one of those super handy AR apps you will want to install.
9. 3D Compass+ (AR compass)
3D Compass+ is augmenter reality compass that use GPS information to tell you direction, location, address, and speed at the same time. The app supports all kinds of screen orientation. With GPS, it shows true north and south.
The app also senses altitude using pressure sensor and allows to share screenshots with friends. Moreover, the app supports marine, rose and artificial horizon compasses. It is a fun app to play with and a useful tool when travelling.
Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging platforms out there. However, what most do not realize is that the app supports some basic augmented reality and it works shockingly well.
The app has a variety of special filters that you can augment right on top of your face. Yes, Snapchat filters actually use some basic AR. It can look like you are a dog or a cat or whatever else Snapchat happens to have available on any given day.
11. Google Goggles
If you are thinking Google will leave itself out of any kind of search technology, then you are making a mistake. Google Goggles can scan QR codes, products, advertisements, and will perform search to display related contents. You can even take pictures of books, album covers, or famous artwork to get more information.
12. IKEA Catalog
The popular Swedish furniture maker is using its app to make its paper catalog more interactive. This app lets you download the latest edition of the IKEA catalog and other IKEA publications.
Using this app, you can save items to a shopping list and get 360-degree suggested room layout. You can also place selected furniture in your own room with the help of 3D and Augmented Reality.