Looking to make good use of iOS 11’s augmented reality capabilities? Look no further!
Note: Some of these apps aren’t available in the App Store yet, but links will be added as soon possible. This article will also be updated continuously as more ARKit apps are released, so check back frequently!
With Fifth Star Labs’ Sky Guide (pictured above in a still taken during the iPhone 8 keynote), you can find out what exactly is in the sky in real time just by pointing your phone at it. The app shows the constellations, planets and stars that are currently visible in your area – even if you can’t see them due to cloud cover or other obstacles. If you tap on a celestial body, Sky Guide opens a page that tells you all about it.
Possibly the most practical ARKit app thus far, 3D4Medical’s Complete Anatomy allows you to view and study anatomical structures in physical space.
We’re excited to bring AR to Complete Anatomy using #ARKit in #iOS11! Visit https://t.co/ZvKt1mJx0g to learn more! #appleevent #edtech #iPad pic.twitter.com/I7SCfodkIo— 3D4Medical (@3D4Medical) September 12, 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade is a sci-fi fighting game in which you play as a freelance Imperial Knight (hence “Freeblade”) protecting your world from monstrous invaders with crazy tap-to-shoot weaponry. Though this title isn’t new, it is getting an AR upgrade – it was showcased during the Apple event, and we saw a Freeblade taking on a foe on a basketball court. You can customize your Knight and play through the game’s story arc without AR, or you can switch to photo mode and bring the battles into your environment.
Climax’s Arise is a 3D puzzle game that allows users to project a scalable, tabletop-sized landscape into their environment and guide their character through it. You can walk 360° around the tiny world to navigate it, and there are no controls at all, meaning you really have to move around to complete each level. You can also take photos along the way.
The Machines is a competitive multiplayer tabletop that was specifically designed by Directive Games to be played in augmented reality. The point of the game is to destroy the other players’ base while protecting your own, which makes being able to move around the 3D scene a huge tactical advantage. This was another ARKit game that was showcased during Apple’s iPhone 8 presentation.
The Walking Dead: Our World
In this Next Games AR experience, you can team up with fan-favorite Walking Dead characters like Rick, Daryl and Michonne to fight walkers in your own neighborhood (or even in your house, if you don’t get weird game-influenced nightmares easily). It’s location-based like Pokémon GO, so it seems that certain locations will have denser concentrations of walkers or different weapons to choose from.
Warning: the trailer (first video) has a jump scare, so if you’re sensitive to those keep that in mind. However, the gameplay demo (second video) doesn’t, so you can just skip to that if you need.
ARZombi is another AR game that brings hoards of the undead into your own home. You can board up your windows and doors, hear other survivors screaming outside, eat virtual pizza and of course, shoot wave after wave of zombies in the head. The game was independently funded and developed by a team of horror enthusiasts and is also 80’s-inspired, so it promises to be littered with themed easter eggs and pop culture references.
I’m pretty sure we all know Pokémon GO, but just in case some of you out there have been living under a rock really far away from a PokéStop: Pokémon GO is a location-based AR addition to the beloved Nintendo franchise Pokémon. In the game, you walk around in your environment and catch and befriend creatures called Pokémon and then use them in battle against other players. Certain locations in your neighborhood or city are Gyms, where you go to battle, and others are PokéStops, where you go to replenish your items. Pokémon GO isn’t a new game, but it will function even more effectively now than ever before thanks to the combo of iOS 11, the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X dual-camera system, and the new A11 processors in all the new iPhone models.
Splitter Critters is another landscape puzzle platformer that’s getting an AR update. You guide the little critters to their ships by splitting the environment to create new routes for them to traverse. In the AR version, the game appears in a little diorama box on whatever surface you point your camera toward, and the landforms have real depth. They also shift when you move around and change your camera angle.
magic.#ARKit #madewithunity #madewitharkit pic.twitter.com/226dlwZquE— Jesse Ringrose (@jesseringrose) September 7, 2017
MeasureKit is an incredibly advanced virtual measuring app that features seven different measuring tools to choose from (and is promising more to come in future updates). You can measure with a virtual ruler, by drawing in space, or with marker pins. Doesn’t have to be a straight line, either – MeasureKit measures angles, curvy paths, and even three-dimensional shapes like cubes.
IKEA’s Place feature allows you to digitally place any IKEA furniture in your space to see how it would look. The app automatically scales furniture based on room dimensions with 98% accuracy, and even shows you the product’s texture and displays realistically how light would fall across it. After virtually placing the item, you can capture images to send to friends or post to social media for opinions. Then finally, if you like what you see, you can purchase the item directly from IKEA’s website.
GIPHY World is an app that allows you to place moving stickers on anything you point your iPhone camera at and then capture it in a photo or video. As shown in this demo, it’s a pretty fun way to leave notes around the house.
ModiFace allows you to test different hair colors and styles in real time, eliminating that overwhelming feeling of regret that comes with choosing the wrong blonde for your skin tone. It also lets you test makeup looks.
If you have trouble finding your friends at crowded social events, this app is going to be super handy for you. With Neon, you can create and view location-based messages, signs and markers. At a bar and your friend can’t find you? Display a virtual arrow above your location. Having a party? Create a sign that will appear in front of your residence if a friend aims their phone at it so they won’t get confused about which house it is.
MLB’s At Bat
Major League Baseball’s official app is another preexisting interface that’s getting an AR makeover. Now instead of taking your eyes off the game to view stats and player info, you can point your camera at the live action and see stats on the screen above the actual players.
¡La app de realidad aumentada para la @MLB se ve impresionante ! #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/jTkRA0Mwuk— El Monitor MX (@SomosElMonitor) September 12, 2017
Apps for Kids
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This app is essentially an AR version of Eric Carle’s treasured classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Children can watch the story unfold in their environment in real time.
Food Network’s In The Kitchen AR
With this new addition to In The Kitchen, you can build and decorate virtual full-custom desserts like cupcakes and cookies, and then get the recipe to make them in reality. The AR portion of this app looks incredibly fun, but it seems to be more for play than it is for learning a multitude of recipes or practicing any cooking skills – it’s the non-AR section of the app that has all the real info.
MakerStudio is an AR app that allows you to create and paint virtual sculptures in your environment, and works best with the intuitive precision of the Apple Pencil.
Orb is a super fun-looking kid-friendly art app that lets you create and then place whimsical, brightly colored geometric objects in the world around you. Creator Sanem Avcil promises Orb will turn your environment into an “infinite canvas.”
Don’t just view #AR, be a part of it. Orb is out this week, what will you build? https://t.co/fZcCfuG1y5 #madewithorb #ios11 #arkit #lowpoly pic.twitter.com/EHthnUlADJ— Orb (@orbapp) September 17, 2017
Have you ever wanted to do impromptu street art without the possible consequence of vandalism charges? World Brush is all over that. This AR painting app allows you to create virtual works of art in the real world and then leave them for others with the app to find.
Introducing World Brush, an AR experience where users can paint on the world for others to discover. #threejs #arkit https://t.co/UMvWaPjgtf pic.twitter.com/SfLx1jwV9O— Active Theory (@active_theory) September 12, 2017