After accidentally teasing a few upcoming phones before removing them again earlier this year, Google has published a proper update to its ARCore support page, revealing that the augmented reality library is now supported by 24 more devices. This time around, all of them have already been announced.
Google loves to demonstrate its ability to create fun toys, particularly with the use of augmented reality. We've seen plenty of AR demonstrations in the past with animals and other common objects, and there have even been some trademark collaborations to play with, but now Google is diving into the world of anime with an assortment of iconic Japanese characters like PAC-MAN and Gundam.
Google has just released Chrome 90 to the stable channel. There aren't too many UI changes or new features for us regular folks on the surface, but under the hood, Google has added a whole slew of improvements that you'll certainly notice over time. You'll get enhancements to copy-and-paste, better AR models, and support for a new codec that uses less bandwidth during video conferences.
ARCore makes it easier for developers to design augmented reality reality apps on Android. To ensure a consistent experience across devices, the company certifies devices through a specific process that ensures the camera, motion sensors, and CPU perform as expected. For instance, a certified ARCore phone has access to Google's 3D Animal library in Search and Playground, and has been tested to work properly with these services.
Google's ARCore SDK allows phones to place virtual objects in mixed reality situations using their processors, motion sensors, light sensors, and, yes, their camera. However, even with the proliferation of quadruple rear camera phones, ARCore has only been able to use one of them. But soon enough, it'll work with two cameras on a couple of choice devices.
Mixed reality experiences continue to play their roles in helping us understand concepts, tell stories, market products, or in just letting us hang out with a virtual Pomeranian for a hot second. For Android phones, that means having Google certify that your phone supports its ARCore APIs. We've got our first batch of new supported devices for 2021 right here.
About a month ago, Google published highly realistic 3D models of 250+ cars that could be viewed with an Android phone in the Search app. Today, Google has added models from Porsche, Volvo, and FCA (well, it's Stellantis now) to the mix, making it even easier to daydream.
Mojang, the original development studio for Minecraft, has worked on more than a few Minecraft spin-offs over the past few years. One of them was Minecraft Earth, a free-to-play augmented reality game where you could build structures in the real world, but the game will now shut down only two years after the initial announcement.
Those video chats with your kids and their friends or relatives — via your phone or tablet, of course — are about to get plenty more festive with new AR face filters and some new color-in drawings to doodle on. The new doodle-able drawings are courtesy of Google Duo's relatively new family mode where the drawer can create works of art and the recipient can watch as they see it come to fruition, live on the line.
ARCore was first released in 2017 as a library for developers to create immersive augmented reality experiences, based on Google's work with Project Tango. The library is now used by countless games and applications, including Pokémon Go, and now it has passed one billion installations worldwide.