Best LiDAR apps for your new iPhone 12 Pro / Max

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Best LiDAR apps for your new iPhone 12 Pro / Max
The iPad Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max all have a LiDAR sensor. What LiDAR does is basically use an invisible (to humans) laser to scan your surroundings. More specifically, the shape and depth of walls, furniture and anything else, up to 5 meters away. On the iPhone 12 Pro and Max, Apple additionally uses the LiDAR sensor for Night Mode portrait photos.

Unfortunately, even though we've had a LiDAR sensor on the iPad Pro for a few years now, there still isn't a huge number of iOS apps that take advantage of the sensor. It's most commonly employed for AR (augmented reality) apps and games. Still, those can be quite fun, so if you're on a quest to see what the LiDAR sensor on your new iPhone 12 Pro Max can do, here are the best LiDAR apps you can try out right now.

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Snapchat was among the first social media apps to employ the LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12 Max, and its use of the sensor was even demonstrated briefly during the Apple Event on October 13. What Snapchat uses the LiDAR sensor for are live filters, which can include adding colorful flowers around whoever is in front of the camera, adding stars above them and even animated animals around them, making for quite a magical-looking photo or video.

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3d Scanner App

This app uses the LiDAR sensor for what it's best at – scanning 3D environments and creating virtual replicas of those on your iPhone. It works for scanning anything, from furniture to vehicles, and can even export those scans as 3D objects, in compatible formats for use in 3D software.

Obviously, advanced users can find this app plenty useful, but it's super fun for even the rest of us to play around with. It gives a really good idea of how accurate and impressive the LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max is. Plus, this app is totally free!

Canvas: Pocket 3D Room Scanner

Looking to renovate a room in your home? Use this app to scan the room and it will create a scale-accurate 3D model of it. That model can optionally be turned into a CAD file (for a fee, though), which is a file type often used by professional architects and designers.

Or if you're renting the room, this could be a great way to display it in its entirety online, as a single image! There's plenty of great uses for this software.

IKEA Place

Once again we're talking furniture, with this IKEA app being a fantastic way to redecorate your home virtually. By adding 3D models of furniture in your home space, IKEA Place helps you get a good idea of what furniture would look good in your home, and the perfect placement. It's a quick, fun and hassle-free way to do test a redecoration before actually doing it.


You already have this app pre-installed on your iPhone, thus it is the first LiDAR app most people try out. Quite underwhelming, really, but it does what it's supposed to do. And that is – measure distances. You can even use it to measure someone's height! Also, it's quite handy for getting the dimensions of rectangular objects, such as framed paintings or certain furniture.

Although the Measure app works alright even on iPhones without a LiDAR sensor, it's extra accurate on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max because of it.

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