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AR

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[Update: AR+ is live] Pokémon Go v0.123.1 to bring AR+, Gen IV critters, and more (APK Download)

Pokémon Go is still alive and kicking. Earlier this year, players finally got the ability to trade monsters with friends, a hallmark of the core Pokémon series fans had been asking for since the game's launch. Now, a new update is set to bring enhanced augmented reality (AR+) and creatures from the Sinnoh region featured in the series' fourth generation of games.

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Google's designer Pixel 3 cases in Japan will include their own AR experiences

Google's first-party cases might be a bit on the chunky side, but they're nice enough to make up for the added thickness, and customers in Japan will be getting an extra benefit with their phone protection. Google's doing a whole collection of regionally exclusive (and super snazzy) cases for the country, and they come with their own AR experiences.

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AR Stickers v1.3 reduces app size by 86% by making Star Wars and Stranger Things packs optional [APK Download]

AR Stickers launched with a handful of sticker packs, all of which were included in the main app's download. Over time, however, Google kept making each pack separate apps that you'd have to download to use, leaving 'Star Wars' and 'Stranger Things' as the only pre-installed ones. Now, Google has spun those two off as well, reducing the AR Stickers app size from 65MB to just 8.5MB.

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ARCore v1.4 adds support for 10 more devices, gets several improvements

We published a teardown of ARCore v1.4 a few days ago in which we discovered a few new supported devices, but there wasn't a full list and we didn't know what else the new version brought. But now, Google's page of supported ARCore devices has been updated, and there's a new changelog on the Play Store listing.

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Snapchat is getting new lenses that recognize and react to speech

Technology always trickles down to less and less important uses over time. Case in point: speech recognition. It was, at one time, futuristic and incredible that computers could understand us, but now it's just kind of a given. In keeping with its trajectory of increasing mundanity, speech recognition has made its way to perhaps the most frivolous use case of all: Snapchat lenses. (They're actually pretty neat, though.)

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Niantic acquires 'Blade Runner: Revelations' and 'Marvel Strikeforce' developer Seismic Games

"Pokémon Go" developer Niantic Labs has sure been keeping itself busy. The company has announced that it's acquired Seismic Games, developer of "Blade Runner: Revelations" and "Marvel Strikeforce." The studio employs veterans of some big names in gaming like EA and Activision.

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'Pokémon Go' developer Niantic shows off AR tech that lets Pikachu hide behind real-world objects

An annoying but understandable quirk about the current state of most augmented reality applications is that virtual items imposed on an AR view don't relate to the world in a believable way: they just sit on top of a scene, regardless of whether or not real-world objects should appear in front of them. "Pokémon Go" developer Niantic showed off its impressive solution to this problem today in what it's calling Codename: Niantic Occlusion — using of course, Pokémon.

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Google's formerly Tango-only Measure comes to ARCore devices [APK Download]

Google Measure, an app that — get this — lets you measure things, debuted in 2016 as a Tango exclusive. But with advances in augmented reality tech in more mainstream handsets, a lot of things only Tango could do are trickling down to devices regular people use. That includes Measure, which is now compatible with ARCore devices.

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NBA releases AR app on Android along with new 360 Portals feature

Later today, the Golden State Warriors will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals in Oakland. It's the fourth straight year the two teams have contested the championship, and anyone who watches basketball will be eager to see if LeBron James can pull off probably his greatest achievement yet and lead his team to victory against the odds. It's also the perfect time to release a new app related to the sport, and that's exactly what the NBA has just done.

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Just a Line gets promised collaborative update, goes cross-platform [APK Download]

Google released augmented reality doodling app Just a Line back in March. The neat (if frivolous) app lets you draw shapes in the air that realistically float in place as you move around them, looking through your phone's display. Now, two users are able to share one doodling space across separate devices — even if one is an Android phone and the other is an iPhone.

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