News: Google Expands ARCore to More Android Devices, Adds iOS Support

Google Expands ARCore to More Android Devices, Adds iOS Support

The roster of handsets supporting Google's augmented reality toolkit now includes 46 Android models as well as support for ARKit-compatible iPhones and iPads.

The latest devices to support ARCore include the Nokia 6.1 Plus and 7 Plus, Moto G6 and Z3 Play, One Plus 5T and 6, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S.

Additionally, Juho Sarvikas, the chief product officer at HMD Global, also confirmed via Twitter that the Nokia 8 would also gain ARCore support soon.

Image by Google/YouTube

Regarding the eyebrow-raising inclusion of iPhones and iPads to the list, the only ARCore feature available to Apple devices is Cloud Anchors, Google's cross-platform multiplayer AR framework.

Despite starting with only 13 ARCore-compatible devices available at launch, Google has made considerable progress in bringing mobile AR to the Android masses.

Image via Google

However, there are still some devices missing from the ARCore party. The updated list still does not include devices from ZTE and Vivo, two brands Google cited at launch as companies working on bringing ARCore to their handsets. And while Essential has confirmed that ARCore support is forthcoming, its device does not appear in the latest updated ARCore list. Also absent are devices from HTC, Razer, and Blackberry.

Fragmentation continues to be the albatross around Android's neck, as slow updates to new versions stalls adoption of new features. At the moment, ARCore is not an exception, as only 36.8% of Android devices are updated to at least Android 7.0, the minimum requirement for ARCore. (Some devices, like the Nexus 5X and 6P, require Android 8.0.)

Nevertheless, the inclusion in Android 8.0 Oreo of Project Treble, a framework and interface that enables smartphone makers to easily apply their Android customizations to new OS versions, may allow Google to finally overcome the fragmentation hurdle.

Progress has already been made with the Android P Beta, which is available to Google Pixel devices as well as devices from Essential, Nokia, Oppo, One Plus, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Finally, with ARCore packaged as an application, Google can push out ARCore updates faster, while adding new features to ARKit requires an OS update.

Meanwhile, Google's rush to get Cloud Anchor support out ahead of ARKit 2.0 could give Google a head start in terms of winning favor with developers for its cross-platform multiplayer over Apple's walled garden flavor.

Cover image via Google/YouTube

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