Smartphones can do so much more nowadays that soon we might have to rename the device altogether. We get to see a new tech in smartphones every year. Augmented Reality being a recent one. You might have been playing Pokemon-Go for a while now and kids must be enjoying some AR animals in the garden. Let’s see some useful AR apps you might actually use.
Best AR apps for iPhone
1. Glasses by Warby Parker
New York based online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses, Warby Parker, has a great collection of eyewear. But we are not here to talk about their inventory. Warby Parker’s iOS application has something great to offer, a Virtual Try-On. Currently, this ‘AR’ feature support is only available for iPhone X and above.
The Virtual Try-On feature simply lets you experience the look of an eyeglass on your face in real time. The application uses Marker-based augmented reality to mark your face as the base and places the eyewear frame perfectly onto your face. The feature is seamless and feels very real.
To use the Virtual Try-On feature just open the app and click on Eyeglasses. Thereafter select any frame and scroll down to find ‘Try these using your camera’. Alternatively, you can just swipe down the window to initiate a virtual Try-On. Once the Virtual Try-On starts you can simply swipe left or right to change frames and select different colors.
Additionally, the interface also allows you to take a screenshot of the current frame with a single tap and gives a direct share option. So go ahead and share it with your friends.
Download Glasses by Warby Parker (free)
2. Wanna Kicks
Wanna Kicks is the latest app by the AR e-commerce company WANNABY who is trying to build an Augmented Reality based e-commerce platform. Their motto is to allow its consumers, a virtual Try-On of products before buying.
Wanna Kicks offers Virtual Try-On of footwear, particularly shoes for now. It also uses the Marker-based augmented reality to recognize and mark your feet as a base and places the selected shoe onto it very precisely. Although the accuracy with movement is not 100%, it does feel very real on the screen. One downside of such service is, of course, the missing comfort check. But hey, isn’t that expectation going to high while sitting on a cozy couch at home.
The app interface is minimal yet so simple to use. To start a Virtual Try-On just open the app and click on the first item you see. App instructions suggest you be barefoot while trying on the shoes but nevertheless, it does work with shoes on as well. You can do a Try-On on one or both feet, it works seamlessly.
To save and share a Virtual Try-On just tap the screen anywhere while you see the shoe on your feet. You’ll see an option at the bottom of the screen to save the image or directly share on social media.
Download Wanna Kicks (free)
3. Complete Anatomy 19 for iPhone
Now, this is something exceptional we have come across. Complete Anatomy 19 for the iPhone is a 3D anatomy platform based on AR education app for the medical field. Whether you are a medical student or a professional educator, this app is going to be your favorite in no time.
The app uses ARKit to let you experience a 3D model of the human body in augmented reality. You can literally move around the figure and see details that a normal image cannot explain. The anatomy is extremely detailed. It covers more topics than I can name. Skeletal, Muscular or Arterial details, you name it and the app has it.
Once you open the app you’ll see a 3D model of the human skeleton. You can choose the body parts and other details from the menu at the bottom of the screen. To enter the augmented reality mode swipe left from the extreme right edge of the screen and click on the AR icon at the bottom.
The app claims to be used by many ivy league universities and well known medical practitioners. Now, something else about the app that’s gonna blow your mind is, unfortunately, the price tag. The free version is pretty much just a demo of what it actually offers. There is a long list of paid and subscription versions though. You can choose a plan according to your requirement. But to be honest, if you’re in a medical school I’ll suppose you’re rich. No offense intended.
Download Complete Anatomy 19 for iPhone (free/$20-$100 per year for the premium version)
4. Paper Bin AR
Bored at work? We have something fun up next. You might have seen people playing paper bin in movies, but you could never play it at your office, could you? Well, now you can.
Paper Bin AR is again a marker based augmented reality system. You can decide what distance you want to place the bin at and shoot paper balls virtually. Not only that, but you can also compete with other players on the leader board, both local and global.
The app is available for mostly all iOS devices including iPad (all models) which makes it rather cool to use. The free version of the app has ads and a limited number of bins. A premium version could be bought more bins and game coins.
Download Paper Bin AR ( free, $2 for ad-free version)
5. IKEA Place
Redesigning interior? or moving to a new apartment altogether? You are probably gonna do a lot of online shopping for furniture then. How would you know the exact fit and look of the item you choose? Well, IKEA Place could be your one step solution.
IKEA Place uses Apple’s ARKit to let you virtually place a piece of furniture at the desired place in a room. It scans the surface of a well-lit room and provides a true-to-scale model of furniture you choose from the IKEA Store. You choose multiple items one after the other and place them in one room. The app uses Marker-based AR to remember the position of the item you placed. That way you can set up a complete room virtually.
The app also lets you scan a piece of furniture you already own and for which you want a similar item. Just scan the item and similar products will pop-up from IKEA store. As usual, the app lets you share the virtually set up room on social media or WhatsApp
Download IKEA Place (free)
Another educating app for the most curious minds out there. JigSpace has answers to some of the most basic questions that can pop-up in your mind. Science, Space, History or a How-To, JigSpace has a library full of interesting topics.
The app uses 3D structuring in augmented reality to explain complex frameworks. It contains a step-by-step breakdown of products and phenomenon that we see and use in our daily lives. You can choose a topic from the library and scan a base for initiating the AR display. You can then follow the step by step guide to learn the selected mechanism in real-time 3D animation.
The application seems to be in the initial phase currently. It doesn’t have a huge library at the moment and the app description suggests it’s their first stage of launch. Currently, the app is free but future upgrades might not be. The app is also to allow users to make and upload their own jigs in the coming upgrades. All facts considered, it is still a better option for a kid in the house who spends much time watching cartoons on YouTube.
Download JigSpace (free)
7. A.R Solar System
When we talk of the 3D model or 3D animation learning, the solar system is a must in the list. Another one for the kids in the house. Be it a globe or a visit to the Planetarium, we have always been keen to learn about our solar system. All methods of exploration were replaced by our computer screens and now our smartphones are ready to take over with the help of AR.
A.R Solar System simply uses marker-based augmented reality to virtually put you in center of our solar system. The planets can be seen revolving around the sun in real time and you can move around to see the details. The app displays info like planet description and composition with a tap over the planet. It’ll also display information like planet mass, average surface temperature, and distance.
The app interface is extremely simple, a virtual AR tour of the solar system is just a tap away. The onscreen menu will let you toggle controls for the planets orbiting the sun and display onscreen information about them.
Download A.R Solar System ($1 for the premium version)
8. Porsche Mission E
Okay, I just had to put this one up. Would you like a Porsche electric car in your driveway? All you need is to go ahead and download this app.
The Porsche Mission E lets you take a virtual look-around of their concept electric car. You can scan and provide the app with a suitable ground and the car will just drop in. You can literally experience the interiors of the car apart from some other features like concept & design, aerodynamics and battery charging. The best of all, you can actually drive the car around in augmented reality.
The app also lets you choose different colors and even pick one from your surroundings. Choose the best color, drive your car to the perfect spot and share an image with your friends and family. The app has a share option.
Download Porsche Mission (free)
Now, go ahead and play some bets on the Paper Bin AR and make the loser buy you some nice shoes from Wanna Kick while I drive around that beautiful Porsche in my studio. On a serious note, these were some useful AR apps from a large pool available on the App Store. And with the increasing demand new apps are expected every day. We will surely update the article if we get our eyes on something new. Let us know in the comments below which app do you think we should have covered. We’ll try to put up the suggestion