Augmented reality is having a moment on Android. Thanks to ARCore, which now works on more than a dozen device models—Google says that's more than 100 million individual devices—we've seen a ton of new applications that insert virtual objects into our real surroundings. A lot of them are shopping and interior design apps, which makes sense—AR's ability to make items appear in your home is a great way to see what a couch looks like in your living room without actually lugging it in there. But AR can do so much more. Here are 10 augmented reality apps that are useful, fascinating, or just plain cool.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh, no... not another social image sharing app!" And if this were anything like that, I'd share you sentiments. But it's not – it's actually quite refreshing, because this app focuses solely on sharing and not at all on social.
Here's the gist: you take a pic – called a Rando in this case – and send it anonymously to someone in a completely random place elsewhere in the world. In return, you also get a Rando. And you must send one to get one. All transfers are completely anonymous – you won't know who got your Rando, and likewise won't know who sent the one you got.
Since the Nexus 10 was released last October, I've been hunting for great accessories to go with it. There's no word on the official-looking dock we saw in Google's "Happy Holidays" video, nor has there been even a mumble about the flip cover we spotted when the Verge got an exclusive hands-on.
Personally, I'm fine without the flip cover, and I can do without the dock, but having owned Samsung's sleeve for the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, I wanted to find some sort of stylish carrier for my slick new 10" tablet. I soon arrived at SFBags.com, home of a great variety of cases, sleeves, and carriers for all sorts of devices, including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
While being a kid 10, 20, or even 30 years ago was a fun time, there's no denying how great it must be to be a little one these days. Digital devices have expanded both children's entertainment and learning to nearly endless possibilities. It's not out of the ordinary for parents to let their children play with their smartphones and/or tablets, but it's becoming increasingly common to see children with their own devices, specifically designed for them. Welcome to the digital age.
Since kids having gadgets is becoming so commonplace, so are apps that cater to the super-young crowd.
When it comes to custom ROMs, we generally stick to covering CyanogenMod and – more recently – AOKP. Every once in a while, though, something really special, unique, or just downright awesome shows up in another ROM. In this case, it's PIE. A ROM that can make pie. No, wait, that's not right. It's a feature baked into the Paranoid Android ROM that completely revamps the navigation area.
All pastry jokes aside, PIE is a fully-customizable replacement for the stock on-screen navigation buttons found in more recent versions of Android. It stays hidden off-screen, only to be brought to life by a predefined gesture.
While the boom in the tablet market has certainly seen a gold rush from manufacturers eager to capitalize on the new craze (whether it be with Android or Windows RT), there's an equally-eager market that's attempting to cash in: accessories. Some of them are great, some are bafflingly weird. The PadPivot probably sits somewhere in between. This little thing is designed to fold up and easily slip into a pocket or purse. When you need it, you can unfold it, set it up, and prop your tablet on a makeshift stand that fits comfortably on your knee.
So, it's as normal and useful as a thing can be that's designed primarily to be used by your lower thigh.
When Google Drive was updated yesterday with the new native spreadsheet editor, all other aspects of the update were instantly less interesting. Now that the dust has settled and our excitement for the new editor has become more manageable, there's another nifty feature worth highlighting: the new "copy to clipboard" choice in the global share menu.
Now, when you choose to share something via the built-in option in any application, you will see an option for "copy to clipboard" - it was actually a little confusing where this new addition came from initially, but Ron notices every detail that exists in everything and immediately knew it was thanks to the Drive update.
If you had an open canvas to create basically anything and bring it to life, what would you do with it? That's essentially the question asked by Creatorverse, a new app that lets you do just that. It's actually a little difficult to explain; thankfully, Linden Research - yes, the same Linden Research behind Second Life - made a video that explains it pretty clearly.
So, with Creatorverse, you make things that do things. Then you share those things with everyone else, who can, in turn, make your things do more things. It's such a simple idea that can potentially result in some pretty amazing creations.
While Android devices may not be designed to replace the common desktop/laptop, that doesn't mean they can't be used for productivity. And one of the best uses for a device like a tablet is to stay organized. As such, it's not uncommon for users to want to store important documents within their devices. The problem is: how do you get a document from paper to digital without having to go through the trouble of first using a computer? Enter Accusoft USB Scanner.
Just likes its name suggests, USB Scanner allows you to interface with a USB scanner directly from your Android device.