Google ARCore Exits Beta, Lens Support Comes To Google Photos For Android And iOS

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Google today announced that ARCore, its augmented reality SDK for Android devices, has exited the beta phase. Now that ARCore 1.0 is expanding into the public realm, Google says that developers are free to publish their AR apps directly to the Play Store. For developers that have been sitting on the sideline waiting for a wider release, now is the time to get started.

According to Google, ARCore is supported on over 100 million Android smartphones, which cover 13 specific models from a number of manufactures. These devices include:

In addition to the above smartphones, Google says that is working with other hardware partners -- including Huawei, Motorola, Sony, and Xiaomi -- to deliver additional smartphones supporting ARCore 1.0 later this year.

"ARCore 1.0 features improved environmental understanding that enables users to place virtual assets on textured surfaces like posters, furniture, toy boxes, books, cans and more," wrote Anuj Gosalia, Google Director of Engineering for AR. "Android Studio Beta now supports ARCore in the Emulator, so you can quickly test your app in a virtual environment right from your desktop."

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Google Lens, which was previously exclusive to the Pixel family of smartphones, is now available to all Android and iOS devices running the Google Photos app. Google also says that compatible Android flagship smartphones will gain Lens support via the Google Assistant "in the coming weeks".

"With ARCore 1.0, developers can start building delightful and helpful AR experiences for them right now," added Gosalia. "And Lens, powered by AI and computer vision, makes it easier to search and take action on what you see. As these technologies continue to grow, we'll see more ways that they can help people have fun and get more done on their phones."

Google is hoping to bring an augmented reality revolution to Android devices, and technologies like ARCore and Lens are the stepping stones to that achievement.