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Top 10 Augmented Reality Apps

  • Top 10 Augmented Reality Apps

    Man holding smartphone with Pokemon Go
    These mobile apps for Android and iOS show what is possible with AR technology today.
  • 1. Pokémon Go

    1. Pokémon Go

    While it wasn't the first mobile app to feature augmented reality technology, Pokémon Go was the first AR app to become a huge hit. After its release in July 2016, consumers downloaded the game more than 500 million times before the end of that year. While it is no longer as popular as when it was first released, it still has millions of active users, and downloads have now climbed to more than 750 million. It has also won numerous awards. It gets 4.1 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Niantic

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Pokémon Go for Android

    Download Pokémon Go for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 2. Snapchat

    2. Snapchat

    You probably think of Snapchat as a social media app — and it is — but augmented reality capabilities are a big part of this app's success. Its unique filters and special effects add digital elements to real-life pictures, and they are very popular with users. The app has around 166 million daily active users and is a mainstay on lists of the most commonly downloaded apps. It gets 4.1 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Snap Inc.

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Snapchat for Android

    Download Snapchat for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 3. Google Translate

    3. Google Translate

    This app combines AR features with AI features. Particularly useful for travelers, Google Translate allows you to point your phone camera at a sign with text in another language and instantly see that text translated into your own language. It supports 103 different languages online and 59 different languages offline. It gets 4.4 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Google

    Price: Free

    Download Google Translate for Android

    Download Google Translate for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 4. Inkhunter

    4. Inkhunter

    No one wants to end up with a tattoo they regret. Inkhunter makes that less likely by letting you see how a tattoo will look on your body before you make it permanent. It includes a gallery of artwork to choose from. Or you can upload your design, and the app will wrap the virtual tattoo around your skin in 3D. Several reviewers call it the best AR app around. It gets 4.7 stars on Android and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Inkunter

    Price: Free

    Download Inkhunter for Android

    Download Inkhunter for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 5. Planner 5D

    5. Planner 5D

    Home design and décor apps are among the most popular applications of AR, and this app gets raves from many users. Planner 5D lets you set up an accurate floorplan for your rooms and see how furniture, paint and other elements would look. Note that the free version comes with a catalog of around 150 furniture pieces; for the full catalog, you'll have to pay a fee. It boasts more than 16 million users worldwide, and it gets 4.3 stars on Google Play and 3.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Planner 5D

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Planner 5D for Android

    Download Planner 5D for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 6. Lumyer

    6. Lumyer

    Lumyer adds moving augmented reality effects to videos, creating what it calls "Lumys." The free app includes more than 200 animations, and it enables easy sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Additional effects are available for a fee. It gets 4.5 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars (all versions) on the App Store.

    Developer: Lumyer

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Lumyer for Android

    Download Lumyer for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 7. Ingress

    7. Ingress

    Before it had a hit with Pokémon Go, Niantic learned about what was possible with AR by creating this app. Ingress turns the entire world into a multiplayer game where players seek to understand and control a mysterious energy source. Players must decide to join the "Enlightened," who seek to embrace the energy source, or the "Resistance," which wants to defend humanity. An award-winner, it gets 4.3 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Niantic

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Ingress for Android

    Download Ingress for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 8. Silent Streets

    8. Silent Streets

    For those who love a good mystery, Silent Streets is a cross between a choose-your-own-adventure-novel and an augmented reality game. As a bonus, you have to walk around in the physical world to play, so it's also a way to get a little exercise. Note that because of some mild horror elements and violence, Google Play recommends it for users 17 and older, and the App Store recommends it for users 12 and over. It gets 4.2 stars on Google Play, but is too new to have a rating on the App Store.

    Developer: Funbakers Limited

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Silent Streets for Android

    Download Silent Streets for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 9. Star Walk 2

    9. Star Walk 2

    Ideal for young (or old) wannabe astronomers, this app identifies the constellations, stars, planets and other objects in the sky above you. You can also use the date and time feature to see how the stars would appear at a different time, and a slider on the screen even shows you objects visible at radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, or gamma-ray frequencies. Note that the free Android version contains ads that disappear with an in-app purchase. It gets 4.5 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Vito Technology

    Price: Free with in-app purchases on Android, $2.99 on iOS

    Download Star Walk 2 for Android

    Download Star Walk 2 for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 10. Holo

    10. Holo

    Similar to Lumyer, Holo lets you add celebrities, animals and other characters to your videos and photos. Sharing tools make it easy to post your creation to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. It's a fun way to create funny content. It gets 4.1 stars on Android and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: 8i LTD

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Holo for Android

    Download Holo for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 1 of

Top 10 Augmented Reality Apps

  • 1 of
  • Man holding smartphone with Pokemon Go

    Top 10 Augmented Reality Apps

    These mobile apps for Android and iOS show what is possible with AR technology today.
  • 1. Pokémon Go

    1. Pokémon Go

    While it wasn't the first mobile app to feature augmented reality technology, Pokémon Go was the first AR app to become a huge hit. After its release in July 2016, consumers downloaded the game more than 500 million times before the end of that year. While it is no longer as popular as when it was first released, it still has millions of active users, and downloads have now climbed to more than 750 million. It has also won numerous awards. It gets 4.1 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Niantic

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Pokémon Go for Android

    Download Pokémon Go for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 2. Snapchat

    2. Snapchat

    You probably think of Snapchat as a social media app — and it is — but augmented reality capabilities are a big part of this app's success. Its unique filters and special effects add digital elements to real-life pictures, and they are very popular with users. The app has around 166 million daily active users and is a mainstay on lists of the most commonly downloaded apps. It gets 4.1 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Snap Inc.

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Snapchat for Android

    Download Snapchat for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 3. Google Translate

    3. Google Translate

    This app combines AR features with AI features. Particularly useful for travelers, Google Translate allows you to point your phone camera at a sign with text in another language and instantly see that text translated into your own language. It supports 103 different languages online and 59 different languages offline. It gets 4.4 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Google

    Price: Free

    Download Google Translate for Android

    Download Google Translate for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 4. Inkhunter

    4. Inkhunter

    No one wants to end up with a tattoo they regret. Inkhunter makes that less likely by letting you see how a tattoo will look on your body before you make it permanent. It includes a gallery of artwork to choose from. Or you can upload your design, and the app will wrap the virtual tattoo around your skin in 3D. Several reviewers call it the best AR app around. It gets 4.7 stars on Android and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Inkunter

    Price: Free

    Download Inkhunter for Android

    Download Inkhunter for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 5. Planner 5D

    5. Planner 5D

    Home design and décor apps are among the most popular applications of AR, and this app gets raves from many users. Planner 5D lets you set up an accurate floorplan for your rooms and see how furniture, paint and other elements would look. Note that the free version comes with a catalog of around 150 furniture pieces; for the full catalog, you'll have to pay a fee. It boasts more than 16 million users worldwide, and it gets 4.3 stars on Google Play and 3.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Planner 5D

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Planner 5D for Android

    Download Planner 5D for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 6. Lumyer

    6. Lumyer

    Lumyer adds moving augmented reality effects to videos, creating what it calls "Lumys." The free app includes more than 200 animations, and it enables easy sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Additional effects are available for a fee. It gets 4.5 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars (all versions) on the App Store.

    Developer: Lumyer

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Lumyer for Android

    Download Lumyer for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 7. Ingress

    7. Ingress

    Before it had a hit with Pokémon Go, Niantic learned about what was possible with AR by creating this app. Ingress turns the entire world into a multiplayer game where players seek to understand and control a mysterious energy source. Players must decide to join the "Enlightened," who seek to embrace the energy source, or the "Resistance," which wants to defend humanity. An award-winner, it gets 4.3 stars on Google Play and 4 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Niantic

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Ingress for Android

    Download Ingress for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 8. Silent Streets

    8. Silent Streets

    For those who love a good mystery, Silent Streets is a cross between a choose-your-own-adventure-novel and an augmented reality game. As a bonus, you have to walk around in the physical world to play, so it's also a way to get a little exercise. Note that because of some mild horror elements and violence, Google Play recommends it for users 17 and older, and the App Store recommends it for users 12 and over. It gets 4.2 stars on Google Play, but is too new to have a rating on the App Store.

    Developer: Funbakers Limited

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Silent Streets for Android

    Download Silent Streets for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 9. Star Walk 2

    9. Star Walk 2

    Ideal for young (or old) wannabe astronomers, this app identifies the constellations, stars, planets and other objects in the sky above you. You can also use the date and time feature to see how the stars would appear at a different time, and a slider on the screen even shows you objects visible at radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, or gamma-ray frequencies. Note that the free Android version contains ads that disappear with an in-app purchase. It gets 4.5 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: Vito Technology

    Price: Free with in-app purchases on Android, $2.99 on iOS

    Download Star Walk 2 for Android

    Download Star Walk 2 for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

  • 10. Holo

    10. Holo

    Similar to Lumyer, Holo lets you add celebrities, animals and other characters to your videos and photos. Sharing tools make it easy to post your creation to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. It's a fun way to create funny content. It gets 4.1 stars on Android and 4.5 stars on the App Store.

    Developer: 8i LTD

    Price: Free with in-app purchases

    Download Holo for Android

    Download Holo for iOS

    Image Source: App Store

For several years, analysts have been predicting that augmented reality (AR) will soon take off. For example, Gartner mentioned AR in its lists of the top ten strategic technology trends for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

However, while the technology has advanced considerably, the AR market isn't yet mature. Developers are still experimenting with ways to overlay digital content on the real world, and most enterprises haven't yet found a compelling app to drive widespread adoption. As Gartner notes in a press release, "The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market is currently adolescent and fragmented. Interest is high, resulting in many novelty VR applications that deliver little real business value outside of advanced entertainment, such as video games and 360-degree spherical videos."

While the AR market may be young now, analysts believe that it will grow rapidly. IDC forecasts that the AR/VR market will grow 100 percent or more per year through 2021. Thus, while total AR/VR revenues are likely to be just $11.4 billion this year, they could be worth nearly $215 billion by 2021.

In light of that projected growth, organizations can't afford to stand on the sidelines. Consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with augmented reality through mobile apps, and organizations that want to remain competitive might want to consider how they can integrate this technology into the digital interactions they have with their customers.

With that in mind, Datamation has put together a slideshow featuring some of the most popular and highest-quality augmented reality apps currently available. These apps and games highlight what is possible with AR technology today, and they just might inspire you to consider how the technology could become useful for your company tomorrow.

Image Source: Pixabay

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