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 is one of the few companies of its size willing to commit to trying out new ideas on a large scale. While these projects are often killed off without restraint, it's still fun to see what new software is released from its labs each year. In its latest experiment, Google is launching some new WebXR apps for Chrome, designed to combine AR and VR to add new context to the world around you. From scannable social distancing to a virtual gallery of your memories, these new "XR experiences" are pretty wild.
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.
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.
Now that more people are staying at home these days, augmented reality has the potential to become even more important. AR may not be as novel as it once was, but that doesn't mean Google isn't continually expanding its ARCore SDK to more devices to enable them to seamlessly access AR experiences like its virtual zoo.
It looks like 5G is the standard of choice in a galaxy far, far away, as Google and Lucasfilm have teamed up to create a Mandalorian AR experience that is only available on 5G Pixel phones and "other select 5G Android" handsets. Interestingly enough, you don't actually need to be on a 5G connection to get in on the fun, and when we sideloaded the app to older, 4G-only phones, we noticed that the experience is running just fine.
Google's ARCore SDK is designed to make it easier to develop augmented reality apps. To guarantee 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.