11 cool Augmented Reality (AR) iPhone apps that show off the power of ARKit


Apple's iPhones and iPads have become the world's largest augmented reality platform overnight with the roll out of the iOS 11 update.

The update brings ARKit, Apple's augmented reality solution, to life on the iPhone 6s and later, and we have already dug up 11 impressive new augmented reality apps for you to try out.

All you need to do in order to use AR apps on your iPhone and iPad is to download iOS 11 if you still haven't, and to ensure that you have a compatible device. From there on, each app will make use of ARKit in a different way: some will allow you to see the stars around you better, others will let you play games that interact with the real world, and yet others will allow you to place furniture in your place. Check them all out below.

Night Sky 5

Price: Free | App Store link


The augmented reality edition of Night Sky is truly impressive, giving you a detailed live look at the sky with all the stars and constellations in it. Simply point your iOS device at the stars to start seeing an extra layer of information about far away galaxies and their age, history and distance from Earth.

Splitter Critters

Price: $3 | App Store link


Splitter Critters is a game, where you can split the world with a swipe of your finger and then rearrange it to guide critters back to their spaceship. Explore colorful planets full of danger, challenging puzzles, and innovative mechanics that will make you think in new ways, and do it all in augmented reality.

Euclidean Lands

Price: $4 | App Store link


Euclidean Lands is another game that has gotten an augmented reality mode that allows you to solve its complex puzzles in AR.

IKEA Place

Price: Free | App Store link


With this new app called IKEA Place you can pick a piece of furniture and see exactly how it fits inside your living room thanks to the AR superpowers of iOS 11. The app is free to download and features desks, sofas, beds and chairs from IKEA's catalog. And it works very well: we've just tried it and we came away impressed. You don't need any complicated scanning of your room, you simply point your iPhone to the floor and in a second you are ready to go and add furniture, move it and turn it around the house, and see its exact proportions and how it fits inside your place.

AR MeasureKit

Price: Free (with IAP) | App Store link


AR MeasureKit is an essential app that will wow your friends: it does something as simple as measuring lines and surfaces, but it does it well and feels like a piece of the future.

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade

Price: Free | App Store link


The cult Warhammer game has now gotten augmented reality mode that will take your epic battles into your daily surroundings.

Human Anatomy Atlas 2018

Price: $1 (with IAP) | App Store link


A personal favorite of ours, Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 allows you to explore the human body in augmented reality, look inside, inspect the way human organs are made in detail and learn anatomy in a very easy and visual way.

Fitness AR

Price: $3 | App Store link


Fitness AR puts your Strava cycling tracks and adventures in a realistic 3D map, so you can explore where you've been and show to friends in an impressive new way.

Kings of Pool

Price: Free | App Store link


Buying a pool table is no longer a requirement. You can now place a pool table in AR and play the game while only using your iPhone and it works impressively well.

Magicplan

Price: Free | App Store link


Magicplan creates a floorplan and allows you to use it when you plan a furniture upgrade or something bigger.

Lightspace

Price: Free | App Store link


Lightspace allows you to 3D paint with augmented reality and is another cool demonstration of the capabilities of Apple's new ARKit.

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9 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

The Ikea app, Anatomy atlas ( reminds me of Google body) and mar measurement kits are all cool and I can see the practicality of them. The night sky 5 reminds me to much of Google sky which I used a couple of time and then never used again its nice to know its there but its something I use once in a while.. Again, IMO, I only see the measuring and furniture apps as something people might use some what moderately but not highly. I really don't see the big use for AR but again I may not be seeing the the trees and not the forest. If anyone has some areas that may AR may be potentially be could you comment. Again this is for both platforms not taking shots at one or the other please.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4200; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Agree. Nothing compelling as of yet. Could and will improve but these half baked initial offerings aren't going to solidify adoption and necessity.

3. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I agree. Holding your phone in front of you looking at the screen can get tiring. I tried Google Earth only for a school night time function. Tried Google spotlight stories to see a story & music video 360 in the environment you're in. The novelty just wore off & I never tried it again.

4. bmwzimmer

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 18, 2017

The measuring app looks promising as long as its accurate. Probably would be more accurate with dual cameras

5. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Aside from the measuring apps... most seem to just over lay information over your camera.... so like apps we've had before (i.e. google sky) what is the benefit of AR kit?

6. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I look at it as a solution looking for a problem. or an answer for a question yet to be ask. To me VR looks a lot more promising as it may offer the opportunity for group play ( users in physically different remote locations all brought together in the same virtual environment). Although,IMO, the head sets need to be a lot slimmer and lighter.

7. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Can someone explain why everyone is circle jerking themselves over ARKit? Pretty sure that AR has been around for 5+ years at least. Either... A) It's Apple Marketing up to their old tricks and claiming they invented something. B) Ummm..... I dunno.... is it different than normal AR somehow? Seriously. I'd like to know. I don't understand why people are creaming their pants like AR never existed before :/

8. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

one word... iphoneys... they think everything apple is the best and first, even when you show them something years before

9. path45th

Posts: 404; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

It's a good and very promising new addition to the iPhone. I'd like to see an AR navigation/map app.

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