ARCore is a Google development kit that allows developers to more easily build apps that support augmented reality on smartphones and tablets. It was first released almost four years ago. ARCore creates new augmented reality experiences that integrate the digital and physical worlds in a seamless manner. At Google scale, change the way people play, shop, learn, create, and experience the world together.
The list of devices that fully support ARCore is continually updated by Google: to be included in this list, smartphones must have high performance and pass specific tests on cameras, motion sensors, and CPU power in order to acquire a certification and be compatible with ARCore-developed apps. The comprehensive and up-to-date list can be found here.
ARCore is supported by various iOS devices because it is an open technology that can be used regardless of the operating system. This is the most recent version of the list:
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
- iPhone SE (3rd Generation)
- iPad Air (4th Generation)
- iPad Air (5th Generation)
- iPad mini (6th Generation)
- 12.9-in iPad Pro (4th Generation)
- 12.9-in iPad Pro (5th Generation)
- 11-in iPad Pro (2nd Generation)
- 11-in iPad Pro (3rd Generation)
- iPad (8th Generation)
- iPad (9th Generation)
What is ARCore and how does it work?
ARCore essentially does two things: it tracks the location of the mobile device as it moves and it builds its own understanding of the real environment.
The motion tracking technology in ARCore uses the phone’s camera to locate interesting features and track how they move over time. ARCore determines the location and orientation of the phone as it moves across space using a combination of the movement of these points and information from the phone’s inertial sensors.
ARCore can recognize flat surfaces, such as a table or the floor, and estimate the average lighting in the area around it in addition to recognizing key points. These abilities work together to allow ARCore to develop its own understanding of the world.
Because of ARCore’s understanding of the real world, you may position objects, annotations, and other information in a way that blends in with it. You can put a sleeping kitten in the corner of your coffee table, or comment on a painting with the artist’s biography. You can move around and observe these items from any angle thanks to motion tracking, and even if you turn around and leave the room, the cat or annotation will stay right where you left it when you return.