8 best AR games and apps on Android for spying up your photos

Augmented reality is digital technology that embeds real-world environments and objects with virtual elements enhanced by computer generation. You’re essentially seeing a mixed perception of reality within a game/app that supports AR functionality, slightly different from virtual reality (VR), where everything is digital and mimics a real-world environment. Even Google has jumped on the bandwagon by introducing functionality ARCore (Google Play Services for AR), a platform designed for AR where developers can access the necessary APIs for their AR games. People may pick up AR-supported apps and games to get creative with photography, educate people using AR models (like Google’s 3D animals for kids), gather information for future purchases and renovations, and find entertainment while going out in the real world by playing games and joining social activities. With AR, the world is your oyster.

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Seeing that this is Mobile Photography week, we at Android Police have selected a handful of AR-supported apps and games that work great when snapping screens on your Android device, all so you can dig into the creative apps that allow the real world to blend with the digital realm for some slick looking pics. So if you’re looking to bring more flair to your photographs by way of augmented reality, today’s roundup is for you.

Pikmin Bloom

We already understand Niantic knows its way around augmented reality, offering plenty of familiar IPs in its AR games, most notably Pokémon GO. But you’re essentially bringing the Nintendo Pikmin magic to any place you go, your backyard, your garden, your family picnic table, literally anywhere. If you’re unfamiliar with Pikmin, they are a tiny half-plant, half-animal species in an assortment of bright colors. In Pikmin Bloom, you’re in charge of planting seedlings, plucking Pikmin, and feeding nectar to your Pikmin to collect flowers that bloom on its head. So while you’re collecting and growing an army of Pikmin, you might as well take them out to explore with a photoshoot depicting your favorites in a real-world setting. After all, having your very own plant guardians pictured next to your garden may bring some luck for your summer crop.


Jurassic World Alive

Ever dream about seeing a T-rex come to life while roaming your nearest urban city, almost like you’re inside a Jurassic Park film? Jurassic World Alive is a game similar to Pokémon GO, where you can collect different Dinosaur species and battle other dinosaurs. AR mode isn’t enabled off the bat, but it’s easy enough to turn on; just navigate to Collection and tap on the AR button. Enabling AR mode allows you to spawn any dinosaur in your collection in the surrounding real-world environment, and then you can snap a photo or record a video within the app.

Ingress Prime

Another product by Niantic, Ingress’s gameplay is a bit on the lighter side (you’re not necessarily battling and collecting), where you compete against an opposing faction to control a resource known as the Exotic Matter (XM). Your mission is to work with your faction and claim portals (landmarks around you) so that you can help your faction gain an edge over the other. Ingress Prime is less so of a game but more of another form of reality. Taking photos of the portals and getting them approved assists in earning experience points, but most importantly, you’re providing a window of opportunity by manufacturing new portals that your faction could take over. Even if the premise seems simple (on the surface), Ingress Prime might be the app to try out next time you’re looking for an incentive to go out and take photos of the objects around you.


DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition

Transform your nearest city into Gotham while role-playing as your own Batman. Use technology as your weapon to take down Gotham’s latest baddies, including the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and the Riddler. DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition features 10 AR missions and 10 mini-games while immersing yourself in even more digital content revolving around the DC universe through the DC Kids’ Youtube channel. The game’s photo-taking capabilities allow you to transform your selfie montage into Gotham City’s most iconic characters; are you the next superhero or evil villain? Snap your photo to find out!

Knightfall AR

Have you considered wanting to reenact a tower defense game right on top of your living room table? With Knightfall AR, you can do that by taking on the role of the Knights Templar as they protect the Holy Grail from Mamluk Warriors. Outside the primary game mode, you can place your unlocked characters on any flat surface. It could be the bathroom floor, the dining area, or even your patio. Any choice will do to take pictures of your characters as they flash their most chivalrous poses, which may be what you need to help jumpstart your role-playing career.

Google Lens

Can’t name that object you’ve seen every day because you just haven’t paid close attention when passing by, or maybe you’re out traveling, and there are nearby billboards and signs you can’t read, wouldn’t it be handy if this text were translated into your native tongue? Well, Google Lens might be the app for you. Knowledge is power, and your nifty mobile device holds the key to unlocking that knowledge (more power to you). Google Lens lets you scan anything just by using a picture or your built-in camera; this is handy when you require precise information on something you’ve seen before but can’t place your finger on what it is. Pictures are worth 1000 words, after all.

Snapchat

You might have dabbled or at least heard of Snapchat, the insanely popular instant messaging app that allows users to create shared stories, often comprising video and photo uploads. If you’re shy about taking selfies, you can add some goofy filters to lighten the mood while taking photos from within the app itself. But not only does Snapchat have a bunch of fun filters to experiment with, but it’s also recently rolled out more AR features, one being “Custom Landmarker” (part of Lens Studio) to create your own AR effects and experiences for local places around you . So try jazzing up your pictures using this AR creation tool next time you’re out and about, and then see what kind of reaction you can get from your friends after sharing the story.

Wayfair

Ever wondered how a new leather sofa would fit and look in your living room or daydreamed whether a mahogany dining table would match your new cabinets? Wayfair lets you access a slew of home furniture and décor at any price range and desired style. This is where AR technology comes in; you can select any of the store’s furniture and add it to your home without leaving the house, all through AR; this way, you can review how your new product looks before buying it. Not only does Wayfair help you visualize what you’re buying beforehand, but you can secure in-app deals and bargains, which may come in handy as a time-saver. Plus, you can take screenshots of how this furniture looks on your screen to share with friends and family to get some advice on your next purchase.

Snap more pictures using AR technology

Not only is mobile photography a relaxing activity when you’re out traveling and sightseeing, but it’s also a way to make and publish your adventures. Sometimes part of tourism is that we end up seeing redundancy in the photos we take, likely due to the popularity of specific sites and places. It makes it all the more difficult to post a picture that’ll leave a lasting impression on your viewers, which is why we turn to AR functionality for extra assistance. Now we have the opportunity to change things up, potentially adding a creative and unique flair to a gallery by easily sharing your creations using the cameras on one of the best new Android phones.

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