It’s Happening: The Apple ARpocalypse is Here

Image Copyright: Apple: Image Used under Fair Use Rationale
Image Copyright: Apple: Image Used under Fair Use Rationale

With the release of iOS 11 the promised launch of ARKit has also finally come. It was with some measure of trepidation that I said yes to the upgrade, since the last major iOS release soft-bricked my iPad. Yet there are just too many neat new goodies in this latest iOS version to wait on. Better multitasking, a more realistic Siri and a pile of under-the-hood improvements.

If you’ve updated your device and visit the App Store today, you’ll notice a slew of ARKit apps that have just been waiting for the green light. We’ll be posting a few reviews of the more interesting apps in this first wave of products, but for now there are some apps which look mighty promising. Some are (more or less) free and others carry a small price tag. We’ve yet to see any truly AAA apps and the prices that go along with that. Still this is a brave new world where nothing makes sense any more and the last word of this article is almost certain to be “penises”.

Stack AR

Sometimes simple is better. Stack AR is basically a free tech demo for ARKit that lets anyone immediately “get” what it’s all about. It really showcases how solid and environmentally-aware the software is. Since Stack AR costs nothing you have no excuse not to give it a go.

AR MeasureKit

Wow, this is not only cool, but useful too! Using some sort of AR black magic, developer Rinat Khanov has managed to create an app that creates a virtual measuring device and rather accurately measures objects in the real world. AR MeasureKit is simple in concept, but incredibly impressive in practice.

The full app is only a few dollars and I was immensely impressed with how the different measurements I did in the room would “stick” to surfaces and persist. I also tested the height measurement with a couple of people and the app’s estimate actually matched their reported heights, It’s witchcraft I tell you.

Human Anatomy Atlas 2018

Quite a few medical imaging apps are updating to include an AR mode now, but I really like Human Anatomy Atlas 2018. It’s pretty jam-packed with detailed 3D models. The AR mode is both really cool and really gross. Just tap a flat surface and you too could be taking apart a creepy dead person on your desk or (perhaps inappropriately) the dining room table. Does not come with fava beans.

World Brush

Why should the VR crowd have all the Tilt Brush fun? World Brush does a more than passable job of bringing the 3D painting hijinks of Tilt Brush to the flat screen. If you aren’t much of a creator you can wander the world and have a look at all the paintings other people have made, saved by GPS location to be persistent. No word on whether most of these paintings will turn out to be penises.

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