10 best augmented reality apps and AR apps for Android
Augmented Reality (AR) can be fun technology to play with. The basic premise of AR is to overlay digital content on top of real things using something like a map, a camera, or sometimes the sky. Aside from being awesome, AR is also one of the more polarizing categories of apps and games in Google Play. It seems like an app is either really good or really terrible. In this list, we’ll take a look at the best AR apps and games for Android.
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Facebook made a lot of promises when it comes to augmented reality. Their app already has a little bit of that promise. When using Facebook Stories, you can use various AR filters to spruce up your photos. It's very similar to Snapchat. Some of their augmented reality efforts also include the Camera Effects development platform, AR Studio, and others. It's not the most powerful AR app out there. However, Facebook is going to do some fun stuff with AR in the future. Plus, Facebook Stories is pretty fun, even if it's a blatant rip off of Snapchat Stories.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Barcode and QR scanners were among the first AR apps that people actually used. Free QR Scanner is among the best QR scanner apps out there. It works by engaging your camera to read various barcodes. It can handle barcodes, QR codes, and pretty much anything else that you can think of. Once read, it'll direct you where it needs to go. It'll also save scans you've already made so you can recall them later. It's one of the must-have AR apps even if you have no actual interest in AR. DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Google Translate is arguably the best translator app out there. It supports a ton of languages. You can translate back and forth between virtually any of them. You can even have it translate in real time so you can have conversations with people. The augmented reality part of the app lets you point your camera at text from another language. The app then translates it in real time. This can help you do things like read street signs or menus. Like the barcode scanner above, this is one of those super handy AR apps that a lot of people install.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Inkhunter is one of the more unique AR apps. What it does is let you check out what tattoos will look like on your body before you get it. You draw a few lines on your body. From there, point the camera at those lines and the app automatically puts the tattoo there. It won't work for super complicated or large works, but those looking for something manageable can expect reasonably good results from this app. There is also a photo editor just in case you want to mess with the design more. It's pretty good.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Quiver is an augmented reality coloring book. The way it works is you download and print out coloring book pages from the app's official website. Color them in and then use the app to bring the pages to life. It's not great for adults, but kids should get a kick out of it. The characters are interactive and you can even play some light games with them. It's a fun way to spend an afternoon. It's not perfect and has a few issues here and there. However, it's fun to use.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
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Sky Map is one of the oldest AR apps out there. It was originally developed by Google. You turn it on and the phone displays a star map. You hold your phone up to the sky. The display will show the stars in the sky right above it. You can use it to find constellations, It's a little tough to calibrate at first, but it's reasonably accurate once you figure it out. It's fun for entertainment, especially when you're enjoying the great outdoors. It's totally free with no in-app purchases.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging platforms out there. You connect with a person on the app and then you can send pictures and video of whatever you're doing. The app has a variety of special filters that you can augment right on top of your face. It can look like you're a dog or a cat or whatever else Snapchat happens to have available on any given day. It's some really basic augmented reality, but it works shockingly well. The app is a battery hog and not overly optimized. However, it's still fun to use. DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Star Chart is a lot like Sky Map. You can use it to view the stars in the sky. It can help locate things like constellations, planets, and other celestial bodies. It boasts the ability to show around 120,000 stars and planets in total. On top of being able to view them from your current location, you can also travel within the app to take a closer look at anything that may interest you. It's an excellent educational app that is also fun to use. It's not 100% accurate all the time, but it's usually close enough to give you an idea of where to look.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Wikitude is an augmented reality web browser. It lets you scan things like magazines, newspapers, and other stuff and it shows you web results in augmented reality. It can find places, show you videos on products, and all kinds of other stuff. It's pretty fun to use. However, it is also a bit wonky depending on which Android device you're using. There are a host of other features that you can play with to make the experience better. It's one of the better AR apps out there.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY Everybody knows about Yelp. It's a place for people to go to rate various places that they've been to. You can use those reviews to decide if you want to go there as well. One of the lesser-known features of Yelp is Yelp Monicle. It gives you an augmented reality look at your surroundings and shows you reviews on those places. It's not a huge part of the app and it doesn't always work. However, it can be useful if you want to look around and have some fun doing it. DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
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If we missed any great augmented reality apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments!