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25+ Must-Have Apps to experience Augmented Reality

The Best Apps for Augmented Reality

Must Have AR Apps

Augmented Reality has been around for a very long time. But with every passing year, it has become more refined. Augmented Reality brings features of games and apps to the real world (in a sense!) and thus provides a magical experience by blurring the line between the virtual and real world!

Well, not just that, it helps one by providing real time information regarding several stuff. Augmented Reality (AR) isn't that uncommon that you think it is; really. In fact you use it everyday!😉
If you still don't get it, it is the GPS App in your phone!

As you can see, augmented reality apps are abundant and are very easy to locate both in Google Play and in the App Store. Some of these apps are free, while some others are not. While some of these apps have been made by top of the line developers, several amazing augmented reality apps have also been developed by small-timers.

However, now that you can make a rough estimate as to how large a share of the (Windows/iOS/Android) app stores the augmented reality apps occupy, here are our selection as to the best augmented reality apps you can try depending upon your usage.

The following apps have functions which range over different categories, starting from entertainment to interior decorating, so I hope you get the app which suits you best from here!

(This post has been co-written by Adhip Ray)

#26- Pokemon Go

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Niantic's Pokemon Go is a game that quickly captured everybody's attention. The game uses GPS to mark your location and move your in game avatar while your device camera is used to show pokemon in the real world. The game gives you the real feels of a pokemon hunter as you stroll through parks, and roads to capture pokemons.

#25- AugSatNav

Another Android exclusive, this uses AR technology to provide you with an augmented view through Google Maps so as to give you directions to reach your destination.

#24- WallaMe

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The WallaMe is a really cool app, which uses augmented reality in order to enable you to leave hidden messages in various locations around the world that can only be read by people using WallaMe App. When using the app, you can take pictures of nearby landmarks, walls and buildings. You can also use in-app tools to create your personal special messages.

If however you want to keep some personal messages for your friends, there is an option to keep your message private, which can be read by only those you want.

After I first came across this app , I got quite addicted to this app! If you have a group who generally go around the same places you do, this app can be quite fun to use.

#23- Google Goggles

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This AR app uses the power of Google's search engine through your phone camera to provide you information on various logos, places and important venues.

It can also read QR codes, barcodes and save contacts to your phone when you click a picture of a business card using the app.


That's not all; the app also can read out the entire summary of a book or a movie when you click a picture of it using your phone. It is available only for Android.

#22- AcrossAir

Across Air Augmented Reality App

This is another useful augmented reality app, available only for iOS, which is basically a simple 3D navigator, which allows you to reach your destination fast and without any hiccups.

When you open the app and hold the iPhone upright, it will show you floating images of geo-tagged entries of places near you like cinema halls, restaurants etc.

Now when you tilt your phone and hold it horizontally, the app will show your position on Google Maps. You can use this feature to pin your position so as to find your car if you are going to park your car in a sprawling parking lot.


This last feature comes in handy when you are going to attend a concert, or are going to some shopping mall with a sprawling parking lot. Also, the last feature looks like a much simpler version of the Augmented Car Finder.

#21- Ingress

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Ingress was the first of Google's mark in AR, which was developed by Niantic using a very interesting and detailed strategy.

Furthered by a continuous narrative, the game is an MMO, which offers the best social experience of any AR game out yet (Yes! Even the Pokemon Go).

In the game, players are divided into two groups; that are the Resistance and the Enlightened. These two groups have to fight each other for control of virtual territories. While the story is rather complex, that is what makes the game truly amazing.

Originally made as an Android exclusive, the app is now available for both Android and iOS users.

#20 - TagWhat

This augmented reality app provides you all the information that it gets through search engines and social networks about any landmark or place you encounter when on a trip.

Just open the app and it will use your phone's camera and GPS to provide you details about the place you want to know about. I tried this app and found it to be accurate a good several number of times!

Available on iOS.

#19 - Layar

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I didn't personally try this app so I guess I shouldn't speak for the app. The app basically lets you scan QR codes, links and other stuffs from print material directly through your phone. Here is what Digital Trends says about this app:
Print only goes so far in a world bursting with digital, interactive multimedia. Clad in a baby blue interface and bundled with a commendable help function, the Layar app is designed to bring print content into the digital realm, allowing users to quickly scan and pull data from a variety of commonplace content using their smartphone or tablet. 
Once a print source has been scanned, the app can retrieve direct shopping links to particular products in a matter of seconds, or bring up videos encapsulating the latest cover shoot for a particular magazine.
Furthermore, the app includes tools for sharing retrieved content via the typical social media avenues and touts features akin to the aforementioned Wikitude World Browser, providing a simple means for browsing and setting directions to nearby restaurants, ATMs, historical sites, and other notable places of interest. 
The ability to scan QR codes, magazines, and other print content may be more of a novelty than anything else, but it does make purchasing that designer tie that much easier.

#18- AR Invaders

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Much like the game Zombies GO, this AR game available both for Android and iOS lets you destroy space invaders. The invaders come at you from an entire 360 degrees of view.


You can also invite your friends and play this game in multiplayer mode by building an alliance with them.

#17- Google Translate

As the name suggests Google Translate helps to translate texts from a huge number of different languages including regional languages. 

While this is an incredibly useful app to have on yout phone, you may think that Google translate is not strictly an AR app. But it is. 

It is the one feature which is incredibly useful for translating texts, written in foreign languages and which are not digital. For example texts in notices, posters, etc. The app uses phone camera to translate Pictures and texts written in foreign languages into the language you want, when you click a picture of the foreign language.

Also, even when you are in a place with spotty connection where internet doesn't seem to work properly, you can easily keep on getting the texts translated if you have downloaded the language packs beforehand.

#16- Amikasa

Amikasa Augmented Reality App

If you like to decorate and style your room, Amikasa is what you need. It is basically an app which uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology to help the user to style the room as per their wish and figure out which furniture looks best where.

Amikasa also lets you choose the color of the in-app furnitures.

As Amikasa uses brand furniture, it shall not be much of a problem getting your desired furniture. Amikasa also lets you buy the furniture which you choose via the app.

Using your phone's camera, you can walk around your bedroom, kitchen and workplace making changes. If you are unsure of the design, you can use the app to send your layout to your friends, family or whoever you choose. It is available only for iOS.

#15- Ink Hunter

Ink Hunter Augmented Reality App

Ink Hunter is an amazingly useful augmented reality app used when deciding on a tattoo and where to put it. This app lets you to try pre-made tattoos using your phone's camera which appear quite realistic; just as the tattoo would look on your skin. It also allows the user to create their own designs. Ink Hunter is available on iOS and Android but it will soon be available and Windows OS.

Now I would not want to press you, but considering how useful and realistic the tattoos are portrayed on the skin by this app, you may want to delay it if you have plans to get yourself a tattoo.

#14-SpecTrek

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The games uses AR to fill your neighbourhood with virtual ghosts which you can capture using the phone. Although the graphics is not quite noteworthy, the game is surely enough to let you have a good time.

When you hold the phone in a horizontal position, it displays the map of your neighbourhood. You need to use the radar in the game to track down and capture the ghosts in and around your surroundings.

#13-Zombies GO!

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Zombies GO has one simple aim and purpose. That is kill those zombies! The app uses your phone's camera to keep the wave of zombies coming all around you, whenever you play the game.

All you need to do is hold your phone up, and as and when a zombie comes up, you decide how you are going to finish the slow bastard!

If you just want to laze and watch the zombies, whilst doing nothing, then there is the safe mode for you!

#12- Quiver

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Quiver is an AR app geared to make your child's learning more interesting and exciting. The app makes the images from your child's color books come to life accompanied by music.

While this makes your child's learning experience much more fun, I am sure it will also ring to the inner child in you!

#11-Ghost Snap

Ghost Snap AR App

I recommend you play the game at night and with headphones for an awesome experience. This AR app is a horror game, which uses your phone camera to show you ghosts (whose picture you must click) whilst listening to horrifying sounds through the headphones.

As you progress through the game, you will encounter even more scary scenes and creatures.

The main objective of this game is to survive as long as you can!
This app is available only for Android.

#10-Wikitude World Browser

Wikitude World Browser Augmented Reality App

Combine the power of a browser, augmented reality technology and Wikipedia and you will get the Wikitude World Browser.

It uses information from about 3500 content providers to offer you any geographically important information that you point at using your phone camera. While the information is provided in a Wikipedia form-like presentation, the app also provides you with information like directions and helps you books hotels and restaurants and offers deals and offers for local stores all around you.
(Ahh! So that's your secret, Bixby?)

Wikitude World Browser is available for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone.

#9-Yelp Monocle

Yelp Monocle

Yelp Monocle uses your smartphone’s GPS and compass to show you AR markers for restaurants, bars, and other businesses that are close to you in real time. It also provides you with reviews and ratings provided by other Yelp users.

And that's just the start.

If you sign up with a Yelp account, Yelp shows you directions to places and businesses they have visited, reviewed or rated. Monocle also provides you directions to the hottest places around you! Try it. It's pretty amazing!

This app is available for Android, iOS and Kindle.

#8-Augmented Car Finder (iOS) / Car Finder AR (Android)

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This one is a pretty simple but handy AR app which helps you to find your vehicle, which may prove to be a real headache in a big parking place, if you don't have the app.

It is really simple to use the app. All you need to do is just set the location of the car as you park it. And then it is done. When you want to return to your car, simply turn on the app and it will show you a visible marker of the car's location, how far you are from it and the direction in which it is located.

#7- Augment

Augment AR App
If Amikasa wasn't enough, we got the Augment for you. While at first the app may not perform that amazing, but with its steep learning curve, it is sure to become extremely cool and fun to use with time.

The app basically enables you to use augmented reality technology to visualise any 3D model whatsoever in your environment using your phone camera.

It lets users upload any 3D image or trackers via third party applications like Cinema 4D, Maya etc. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

#6-Gorillaz

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This AR app is mainly aimed for the fans of the Gorillaz band. The app takes you to the home of Noodle, 2D, Murdoc and Russel, where you can freely roam around and check out the rooms and possessions of the members.

Gorillaz also enables you to capture the images of the your finds and share them on social media platforms. While I am not much of a fan of the band, I tried this app out and feel that Gorillaz fans will enjoy the experience!

#5- Augmented Colors

This AR app available for Windows Phone 7, 8 may serve only to designers, artists, color lovers and graphic designers.

When you open the app and point the phone camera at any real world colors, the app identifies the color and its hex values and stores it for you so that you can use the color code elsewhere.

However, I, a blogger, came upon the first color design for my blog by this app.

#4-Sun Seeker

Sun Seeker AR App

Sun Seeker provides flat view compass, 3D view and also can use Augmented Reality tech to show you the sun’s solar path, maximum elevation, its hourly intervals and other stuffs like when it will rise or set.

And that's not all; the app also shows you the sun's summer and winter solstice paths. The app also proves to be quite useful for people like gardeners, architects and photographers as it shows them the lighting and relative solar angles almost everywhere and anywhere on the globe!

It can also use your phone's GPS to provide you with details as to the place where you are.

Get it on iOS.

#3- Google Sky Map

Google Sky Map Augmented Reality App

It allows users to identify almost anything in the night sky like stars and constellations using your phone's camera. 

As with Google, all their apps are crazy good, smooth and easy to use including this one.

When you have a clear night sky, point the phone's camera towards the stars and the app will identify them in real time for you.

It is really mind-blowing how easily the app identifies these stars and constellations. The app also shows you detailed information on the stars and constellations it identifies.
Get it on Android.

#2- Spot Crime

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As the name suggests, it helps to track and collect real time crime record and information and alerts for nearly any location in U.S.A, U.K and Canada using crime information from police offices, news and sheriff agencies and other sources.

The basic function of the app is that it shows you the most crime prone locations and the time at which it occurs so that you can avoid those places.

After all precaution is better than cure!

#1- Roar

Roar Augmented Reality App

Roar is partly a shopping and advertisement app that allows users to click pictures of food items and drinks so as to learn their prices and ingredients, see reviews from other people, and maybe even discover relevant coupons and promotions on that particular app.

While the app is best suited for businesses and retailers, actually everybody can find the app immensely useful. This AR app helps you as you get to compare the prices of different stuffs which are present in ROAR database among several retailers.

ROAR also helps you buy tickets to movies and shows just by pointing the phone camera at an advertisement.

Get it on Android / iOS!

That's all for now! These apps are the best AR apps that are a must-try if you are interested in Augmented Reality technology.

If you have any other interesting apps on AR, do share it down in the comments, and if it is a good one, I'll be sure to add it!

Which is the best AR app that you tried yet? Share it down in the comments!

Comments

  1. Very informative compilation ; keep up the good work!!

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