6 best AR apps
A more exciting reality with an ARKit-based app
The ARKit framework included in iOS 11 enables iPhones and iPads to superimpose computer graphics over the real world, allowing developers to take their apps beyond the screen and into the user’s environment. Here we’ve chosen six standout titles on the App Store that make great use of the nascent platform in ways you may not expect. Did you know you can use AR to rear your own pet dragon? Or measure your apartment and then test out how new items will look in your kitchen? And of course, there are some puzzle games in there,
Sky Guide AR $2.99 Made for iPhone, iPad
Gyro-based stargazing apps have been around for years, but Sky Guide is the first to mark out constellations and planets in the sky overhead. It features rich data about celestial bodies and neat time travel controls. And if you have an Apple Watch, the app can send you a push notification if an event is about to happen, like when the International Space Station is about to drift over.
ARise $2.99 Made for iPhone, iPad
ARise combines a puzzle game mechanic with optical illusions to create a novel AR experience. Escort a knight of the realm through a high-rise landscape in which the path is blocked by missing sections. It’s your job to fill in the gaps by physically moving around the ascending levels to look for the right perspective that lines up the connecting symbols. It’s challenging but fun.
Conduct AR! $3.99 Made for iPhone, iPad
This beautifully drawn title is a railroad strategy game that you can play on your table top. The aim is to ensure the smooth running of your train through the canyons of the Wild West, switching tracks and avoiding collisions in an effort to transport your passengers to their destinations. As the levels progress, the terrain becomes more unforgiving and the railroad lines get ever-more complex.
AR MeasureKit Free Made for iPhone, iPad
Digital measuring tapes were among some of the first AR apps on the App Store, but AR MeasureKit does so much more. It includes several tools — all with step-by-step instructions — that serve different purposes, including: a ruler that follows any trajectory you draw in open space; a level; a tool for finding the degree of an angle; and a marker pin for measuring longer distances.
IKEA Place Free Made for iPhone, iPad
IKEA has added more than 2,000 items from its catalog to its AR app, which enables customers to preview chairs, tables, sofas, and more in their homes. Items can be rotated and moved in a room so you can get an idea of its size relative to the space. Multiple items can be added at the same time, and there’s an option to take a picture that can be saved to your Camera Roll or shared.
Follow Me Dragon Free Made for iPhone, iPad
If you remember Tamagotchi then you’ve already got the gist of Follow Me Dragon. Drake is the cute character at the center of this fun pet simulation game, and you’re his custodian. You get to raise him, feed him, entertain him, and generally watch him grow day by day as he follows you around your environment. You can even play ball with Drake and he’ll ping it right back to you.