Apple’s iOS 11 is coming to compatible devices starting September 19th, which means that if you own a recent Apple iPhone or iPad, you may have an augmented reality-capable device in your hands before the new iPhone line even launches.
Apple’s big iPhone 8/8 Plus/X unveiling this year promised a bevy of information surrounding augmented reality, thanks to the release earlier this summer of ARKit. As a tool that lets developers make AR games and apps on what Apple says will amount to “hundred of millions of iPhones and iPads,” we had our hopes pretty high for a slew of app announcements.
While we only saw four AR apps revealed on stage demonstrating the phone’s AR capabilities, Apple has said in the past that they’re working with Pokemon GO creators Niantic, IKEA, and Lego to name a few to bring AR apps to the App Store. To that end, starting this month any iPhone, iPad or iPod that can upgrade to iOS 11 will be able to get in on the action, which the company says will let you do things like “redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited, or even try on a new tattoo.”
Apple is advertising the new iPhone line as custom designed “for the ultimate augmented reality experience,” featuring specially calibrated cameras, a screen low on bezels, and the new A11 Bionic processor that drives the room and face-mapping power of the new devices. That may not be enough for many to take the $1000 iPhone X upgrade, but if you’re looking for the most capable AR-capable phone out there, you can bet it’s going to be an Apple product until other manufacturers get in the game.
Google also recently released an AR developer kit, ARCore, which aims to give similar AR abilities to “100 million [Android] devices at the end of preview.” Google is working with Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and unnamed others to accomplish it, making AR the next battle ground for the competing brands.