With all the talk of the metaverse becoming part of our everyday lives, people are paying more attention to virtual reality now more than ever. But while the metaverse may still seem like a faraway concept, we are already living in a version of a future thanks to augmented reality. AR apps are available in a variety of genres and are providing exciting and innovative new experiences for users worldwide.
AR apps are becoming more and more popular and digital marketers and app developers alike can take cues in order to create new products and campaigns that can speak to the needs and interests of their audiences. In order to inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of 8 of our favorite AR apps available for mobile devices right now.
Best AR Apps for AR Games
- Pokemon Go (iOS + Android) – Pokemon Go hit the app stores in 2016, and who can forget that summer when every day you could walk outside and see crowds walking around staring intently at their phones? The augmented reality app created a huge buzz by bringing a beloved franchise to life by allowing users to recreate the experience of catching and training Pokemon in the real world. It was one of the first AR apps for gaming to catch fire and it really popularized location-based gaming and AR. As AR has continued to develop, so has the app, even updating gameplay to account for the necessary changes brought about by COVID-19.
- The Machines (iOS) – The Machines is a multiplayer AR game made for iPhone and iPad. The app allows you to battle robots with friends or across the globe. It also makes use of 3D spatial audio, meaning that sounds will be affected by your surroundings. On top of that, it includes perspective-based gaming as a feature, which means that the way you position yourself physically in real life will also affect the way that your weapons and skills are executed in-game. Macworld has called The Machines “a perfect example of the future of AR” and the app truly is one of the best AR apps taking advantage of breaking edge technology to create an immersive gaming experience.
- Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs (iOS + Android) – Angry Birds is now more than 10 years old, and its company hasn’t slowed down since its release. There are multiple variations of the app now available and the latest is the augmented reality Isle of Pigs game. This version of the game allows you to play in “real life” with augmented structures that appear in your surroundings whether you’re in the living room or at the park. You can even change the proportions of the game to fit your space. Isle of Pigs takes Angry Birds to the next level by establishing it among the ranks of AR games.
- ARia’s Legacy: AR Escape Room (iOS) – According to its developers, ARia’s Legacy is the first mobile escape room app to use fully immersive augmented reality for its gameplay experience. ARia’s Legacy is compatible with iPhone and iPad and users begin playing by scanning their surroundings with their device in order to activate the AR scenes. There are multiple puzzles and challenges to solve for a continuously entertaining experience. If you want to combine the fun of escape rooms with the excitement of AR apps, then this is definitely an app for you to download.
The Best AR Apps for Augmented Reality Shopping
- IKEA Place (iOS + Android) – IKEA Place launched in 2017 and uses AR to create an augmented reality shopping experience for uses right at home. In fact, the ability to test furniture virtually right in your space is arguably better than having to place the guessing game when looking at furniture in the store. Once users scan their space with the VR camera, the products they choose will appear in the space in 3D and to scale. This is a great representation of the future of shopping, especially as eCommerce apps and sites grow in popularity. Using AR apps to elevate the customer experience is guaranteed to boost sales for companies.
- Warby Parker (iOS) – Are you searching for a stylish new pair of glasses? Warby Parker has got you covered right within their mobile app! The Virtual Try-On feature allows users to try on frames using the camera on their iPhone. All you have to do is allow the app to measure your face for accuracy, and you’re ready to begin. As a retail brand with only 128 storefront locations nationwide, taking advantage of using AR apps gives Warby Parker an added boost for joining convenience and cost-effectiveness.
- Houzz (iOS + Android) – If you’re interested in a home remodel but you want to expand your options beyond IKEA furniture, Houzz will offer you a wealth of options. The main purpose of Houzz is to give users a place to find inspiration, local home professionals, and furniture/decor items. The View in My Room 3D feature allows users to see what the furniture they’re eyeing will really look like in their space. With Amazon ushering in an aggregate shopping movement, it only makes sense to create AR apps for shopping that aren’t limited to specific stores and brands.
- YouCam Makeup (iOS + Android) – YouCam is a bit of a combination between an AR game and augmented reality shopping app. In addition to editing selfies, the app has an AR camera that users can use for instant makeovers. From lipstick to eyeshadow, and Maybelline to Estee Lauder, users can see which looks work best before making the decision to purchase. The YouCam skin analyzer also provides users with an analysis based on the AR camera that they can then use to receive personalized skincare products and recommendations.
If you’re inspired to join in on the trend of AR when developing and marketing your mobile app, you’re not alone. These companies are proof that adding this feature can pack a great punch when it comes to UX. You want to be sure that your app has everything you need to get the attention of potential users, and AR could be the feature that does exactly that, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot.
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