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The most amazing AR apps you can use


Augmented Reality (AR) is not-so-new technology but it hasn’t yet reached its prime, although it is slowly getting there. It first became well-known when Pokemon Go was released last year, an app for iOS and Android users. Opening your camera showed the real world in front of you as well a Pokemon character superimposed onto your screen; making it feel like it’s actually there.


Now, this may seem like something you don’t need but it can make life easier when making decisions. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool to see what that tattoo you want to get looks like on your body before you go under the machine? What about that nice, new couch that may just go with your freshly decorated lounge? #DigitalDecorating. Cool huh? But I wanted to test out AR first-hand, so I downloaded some free AR apps and here’s what I think.


Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 22.11.03.pngA photo (rightfully owned by Apple), demonstrating Augmented Reality (AR).AR Sports Basketball


This is a very fun and rather addictive game that lets you shoot hoops from literally anywhere. Just choose your mode (desk or normal) and use the slider on the bottom right-hand corner to aim. You can adjust your phone’s angle too so you have a better aim, just like you would angle your body when you’re about to shoot in a real game. It’s not incredibly difficult but it’s not easy either. Once you get the ball in, you’ll want to get it in again and again; that’s where the addiction starts, especially when you see your high score increasing. More so, when you shoot in combos you get extra points. Nice.


I love that it has a desk mode too because it’s scaled smaller so you don’t have to worry about being too close to it. In normal mode, if you’re too close you’ll have to physically move back because it is automatically scaled to a realistic size. It’s quite cool how real it feels.


iOS Download


BasketballAR.jpgShoot hoops from anywhere.

Ikea Catalogue


So, I mentioned #DigitalDecorating before and Ikea have totally nailed that. Until now, we’d make a trip to Ikea or browse their online store and vision what certain furniture will look like and that vision would help with the decision to buy the product/s or not. Well, things have changed. A lot.


You don’t have to imagine what something will look like anymore, thanks to AR technology. The Ikea Catalogue app lets you digitally place products in your lounge or kitchen, or whatever room you want, rotate them for perfect placement and scales them based on their position. All it requires is your smartphone’s camera. Oh yeah, redecorating just got a whole lot cooler.


Android Download | iOS Download


Ikea_Catalogue.jpgDigitally decorate your home with the Ikea Catalogue app.

AR Runner


This one definitely gets you up on your feet. You’ve got to run through checkpoints and really just beat your own record and maybe your friends too. It lets you play in multiplayer mode (up to 4 players) or you can play on your own, be it inside or outside.


To start the game, you choose your field size (2 x 2 meters, 4 x 4 meters or 8 x 8 meters. You can choose to have a 16 x 16 meters’ field size but that will cost you £1.99). You then pick your mode; it has 4 modes to choose from:


  • Normal – Activate the spots in a certain order
  • Wall Punch – Activate the most number of circles by moving your device through them
  • 30 sec rush – Activate the most number of spots in 30 seconds
  • Enemies – Activate the most number of spots while avoiding the blocks


The latter two are not free and can be purchased for £1.99 each but the first two are adequate to help you stay fit and have fun at the same time. This in-app purchase applies for selecting two of the six field shapes too but honestly the free ones are good enough.


It’s a great game that can be played, both, indoors and outdoors, which is a major benefit and it gets you up on your feet so who’s to complain?


iOS Download


Is AR a gimmick or revolutionary?


I’ve given an overview of just some of the coolest AR apps available and I think they’re really awesome. But is that enough to make Augmented Reality something we should appreciate? I’d say so. Its potential is quite incredible; the Ikea catalogue app is a brilliant example. Sure, you can vision what something would look like but how can you top seeing what it would actually look like, digitally? That is just pure amazing.


It doesn’t stop there though. The possibilities with AR are endless (ask Apple) and with what we’ve seen already, you can only imagine what the future of AR will entail. Hence, I would totally call AR revolutionary as it really has opened up a whole new world for us. I think some of the games can come across as gimmicky but games are only meant to be fun. It’s the apps that actually allow us to do useful things that make it so ground-breaking.


But that’s just what I think. What are your thoughts on AR games and apps? Would you call it a gimmick or revolutionary? Also, if you have used any AR apps that you would recommend, drop a comment below.


I hope you found this blog interesting and thanks for reading Smiley Happy




Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorials at XALIRATE and posts here on Wednesdays and Saturdays.





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Like most of these 'new' ideas I think it is useful. Some applications will be gimmicky (is Pokemon Go still out there?) but I can't think of it as revolutionary.

The principle has been around for many years - we've all seen illustrations on what a proposed new development will look like when built - so it has value. The Ikea app looks like a good thing (I'll have to have a look at that) and I expect garden versions will soon arrive, if not already here.

Hard to see much use beyond "what if" and games though. It'll be interesting to see what other applications the creative developers come up with.


I can see this being useful  for checking how things look or fit in before purchase as shown by the ikea app. Probably not something I would use but interesting none the less. Thanks. Smiley Happy


Never done anything with AR as its still rather gimmicky and not really "pushed on". However, the IKEA Catalogue is very useful to "try before yo buy". I would definitely give that a go.