Google releases ARCore 1.0

Google has officially announced the 1.0 release of ARCore. The system will work immediately on a handful of flagship models and support for countless other devices with Android 7.0 and higher, to follow. Some applications for ARCore can be tried immediately.

As expected, Google is indeed releasing version 1.0 of its augmented reality platform on the occasion of the Mobile World Congress, which starts after this weekend. Immediately, the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge, LG V30 and V30+, ASUS Zenfone AR and the OnePlus 5 are supported. The app is in the Play Store. Users with the right smartphone can immediately start placing virtual objects in the real world on their smartphone screen.

The Android Studio beta now also supports ARCore in its emulator, to make it easy for developers to test their augmented reality apps in the development environment.

In principle, every device with Android 7.0 or higher is supported, but Google has to manually add support for each device, which will simply take time. Google speaks of ‘100 million smartphones’ that support ARCore. Devices from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile and Vivo released this year will also soon have out-of-the-box support for ARCore.

Google has developed some augmented reality applications in collaboration with several companies. In this showcase, a Porsche and a set of furniture can be placed in a room. In addition, there are ar games from NetEase, Wargaming and Game Insight to try. The FC Barcelona stadium can also be explored in an app from Snap. It is not clear whether the applications that Google is talking about can be downloaded immediately or whether they will first be shown at MWC. In any case, the app itself contains the necessary samples.

Google also announced that Google Lens, the app with which elements of camera input can be recognized, will be more widely available in the coming weeks. Specifically, all Google Photos app users who have their language set to English will get the feature within that time frame. That applies to both iOS and Android. The Lens function in Google Assistant will also come with ‘compatible flagships’. This selection of devices will also be expanded in due course. Lens can recognize and select text, create contacts and calendar items from an image, and can also recognize common plants and animals in the coming weeks.