Blog > Virtual Reality > Top 10 Augmented Reality Apps That Are Changing the Game

10 AR Apps You Need to Check Out Now

May 3, 2024
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8
min read

Technology evolves at such a rapid rate these days, it seems like we’re hearing about “the next big thing” every time we so much as turn around.

But this is a good thing!

Because as technology evolves, we find more innovative ways to use that technology to enrich our lives and make us smile. And one of the newest examples of this is augmented reality (AR) apps. Once used primarily for military training, AR technology has really come into its own lately, proving useful for everything from shopping to education to entertainment.

So, if you’ve been curious about AR apps and what they have to offer, today’s blog is for you!

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a lover of learning, or just looking for something fun to do during your downtime, we’re bringing you our 10 favorite augmented reality apps that are changing the game and altering your reality in new and exciting ways!

What is an Augmented Reality App?

A caption bubble with a question mark inside. What is an augmented reality app?

An augmented reality app is software that takes digital content (images, characters, sounds, text, video, etc.) and integrates them into a user’s physical world in real time for a mixed reality experience.

Unlike virtual reality (VR) apps — which create an entirely new environment that you’ll have to experience using a headset — AR simply takes the digital information to you by seemingly placing it into your real-world surroundings to enhance (or augment!) your reality.

You can use these apps on different AR platforms and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and AR glasses, typically by using that device's camera to see the real world and have a way for your app to overlay digital information onto it.

What Can AR Apps Be Used For?

It may sound a little complicated, but if you've ever used a feature on sites like Amazon or BestBuy that allows you to look through your phone's camera to place furniture, TVs, or accessories around your house, then you’ve already used AR features!

Here are a few more ways folks like to make use of AR experiences.

Education

Educational AR applications make learning fun and more accessible by bringing educational content to life, like historical events or scientific content, like anatomy or biology.

You might see features like this in places like museums, learning centers, or historical landmarks.

Exercise

Time to break a sweat and burn some calories!

AR apps can make exercise fun by making it seem you’re interacting with characters and objects from a virtual world while you work out at home, in a gym, or in your neighborhood park!

Whether you’re running from AR zombies, passing AR landmarks, or just being cheered on by a virtual coach, AR apps can make exercise more enjoyable to help you stay consistent and meet your fitness goals.

Shopping

We already mentioned how more and more websites are using AR to help consumers gauge how furniture and large electronics will fit in their space, but there are plenty of other uses for AR tech while you shop.

Some sites have AR capabilities that will allow you to “try on” clothes, “test out” makeup, or even see how a new pair of glasses will look on your face. This not only creates a more tangible experience for someone shopping online but helps them to make a better-informed decision about their purchase and reduces the likelihood of returns.

Navigation

You already have virtual assistants shouting directions to you all the time, so why not try AR for navigation?

Fire up your smartphone’s camera (just not while driving) and make navigation a breeze by letting the AR app overlay directions, indicators, and other useful information into your world.

Fun!

And let’s not forget good, old-fashioned entertainment.

Whether you’re playing with AR filters and banners to create fun selfies on social media or playing video games during your downtime (remember the Pokémon Go craze a few years ago?), there are many AR apps designed to entertain and amuse.

The Best AR Apps 2024 Has to Offer

A smartphone showing a screen of a high-tech purple cube.

Now that you know how much AR apps have to offer, we can get to the good part!

Here are 10 AR apps, designed for any of the purposes listed above. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be something in the AR world for you!

1. Google Lens

Google Lens is an image recognition app that lets you learn on the go!

Whether you’re curious about a mysterious bug in your garden, a landmark you don’t recognize, a street sign in a different language during a vacation, or even a weird rash on your skin, Google Lens lets you simply frame it in your camera and then provides you images and links to help you learn about what you’re seeing.

It can even help you find restaurants. Just pull up an image of a dish you want to try, type out “near me,” and Lens will show you local restaurants where you can get a taste!

Available for: Android, iOS (Google Mobile), Microsoft Windows, macOS (Google Chrome for searching images), web browser.

2. WallaMe

Like geocaching and making friends in new and innovative ways?

WallaMe is an augmented reality app that allows users to hide and share messages with each other.

Just take a picture of a wall, sidewalk, tree, etc., write your message or draw your picture, add stickers and photos for decoration, and your message (known as Walls) is complete! It will then be geo-localized and visible for anyone else passing by who is using the app as well (or make it private if your message is only for specific people!)

All public Walls can be seen on a feed for other users to like, comment, and share!

Available for: iOS 7.0 or later, and Android 4.1 or later

3. Star Walk 2

If astronomy and constellations are something you enjoy, Star Walk 2 may be the AR app for you.

Star Walk 2 is a helpful astronomy guide that lets users explore the night sky by identifying stars, planets, constellations, satellites, and other celestial bodies. All you need to do is open up the app and point your phone to the sky. You can also point it at the ground to see constellations only visible in another hemisphere!

Available for: Apple and Android

 

4. ARuler

Moving soon?

Redecorating or renovating your space? 

ARuler can make your job just a little bit easier. ARuler is an augmented reality tape measure that lets you measure rooms, walls, and homescapes right from your phone camera.

Aim your phone at the plane you’re working with and immediately have the measurements you need to place wall art and furniture with ease. 

Available for: Apple and Android 

5. Magnus

Logo for Magnus, an AR art app.

Promoted as “Shazam for the art world,” Magnus is an AR app designed for anyone from curious art lovers to collectors to help them identify the art they see.

To get started, take a photo of the artwork in question and, within seconds, Magnus will come up with the name of the artwork and the artist, its dimensions, the material it’s made of, and (if applicable) the price you’d pay to take it home!

Available for: Apple and Android 

6. Just a Line

Just a Line is a fun and innovative AR app that lets you draw in the air with your phone.

Doodle alone or team up with a friend who has the app for a collaborative creativity session! Once your masterpiece is complete, you can even upload your drawings on social media for others to see, like, and share.

Available for: Apple and Android 

7. SketchAR

If you want to improve your drawing, share your artwork, or just draw for fun, SketchAR is a fun and innovative way to do it.

Choose your tools, mix colors with an AR palette, and get ready to unleash your creative potential on the world!

Available for: Apple and Android 

8. GIPHYWorld

Who doesn’t love a good GIF, right?

GIPHYWorld (by GIPHY) kicks things up a notch by offering an augmented reality experience that lets you fill your environment with GIFs and stickers! Add GIFs around you and take pictures or even record a video of your AR scene to share with your friends or on social media.

Available for: Apple, VIVE, and Oculus

9. Ingress

Ingress (or Ingress Prime) is an augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic (of Pokémon Go fame).

Players use their mobile device (scanner) to find and interact with “portals” near the player’s real-world location. Explore portals featuring public art, architecture, landmarks, and other “displays of human achievement” against a science fiction “fight for the future” backstory.

Described as a combination of geocaching and "capture the flag," Ingress can provide hours of fun for players of any age!

Available for: Apple and Android

10. Euclidean Skies

Another AR gaming app, this “mind-altering puzzle adventure” isn’t exclusively AR, but it does have an augmented reality mode for players looking for a more immersive user experience.

Building from its predecessor, Euclidean Lands, Euclidean Skies boats 50 levels, hours of gameplay, and challenging puzzles full of stunning imagery for its players to crack!

Available for: iOS and Steam

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As a Designity Creative, you’d get the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects with a variety of different clients and industries. You’d also enjoy competitive pay, a consistent workload, flexible hours, a remote work environment, and the chance to learn and grow from experienced Creative Directors and the best of the best in your field of expertise.

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Simply take some time to fill out our one-of-a-kind application and let’s see where Designity can take you!

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About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
Interested in content collaboration? Email at press@designity.com
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