The Apple ARKit based app has reached more than 13 million installations just within six months of its debut. According to a report from the analytics firm Sensor Tower, these downloads are specifically for the applications that use ARKit. The ARKit was officially launched as part of the iOS 11 to allow developers to make apps for the iPhone and iPad based on augmented reality.
According to Sensor Tower, 47% of ARKit-only app downloads are from the Game category compared to 14% for the Utilities. Last year in October, a similar report from Sensor Tower revealed that ARKit had reached 3 million downloads. Games were still at the top with 35%, but now, it has grown to almost half of all installs.
Lifestyle category downloads have increased two fold from 5% to 11%, indicating the significance of augmented reality in Lifestyle apps such as the Ikea Place app. The share of downloads coming from Utilities decreased from 19% to 15%.
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AR Dragon, a pet simulator that allows the player to take care of a baby dragon, is the top free app. CamToPlan – a Measuring app – takes the lead in both the paid and grossing categories. Other popular apps are GIPHY World, the battle game The Machines and VR pet Very Hungry Caterpillar AR that continue to entertain the users.
In its analysis, Sensor Tower has not included the apps with limited ARKit functionality such as AR photo modes or traditional apps with augmented reality elements. Sensor Tower has also left out the existing apps that were updated with ARKit capability. Popular apps such as Pokemon Go and Amazon, both of which were recently updated with ARKit are nowhere in the top 10 charts.
In a blog post, Randy Nelson, head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower, said, “From what we’ve seen in our latest analysis, ARKit-only apps only continue to grow in terms of installs and the number of experiences available to users. This isn’t including the numerous ARKit-compatible apps that have added some degree of AR functionality in the past six months and have pushed the number of AR apps on the App Store well beyond 2,000 to date.”
Apple recently released an updated ARKit 1.5, an update to the original app alongside the iOS 11.3 beta release in January. The updated software allows the developers to build apps that can detect vertical and irregularly-shaped surfaces along with images like posters and book covers.
The roaring popularity of the ARKit could be nerve-wracking for Google. Last week, the search giant talked of a wide range of ARCore apps that include apps ported from the ARKit-only version and some exclusive to ARCore. Google announced that developers are working on novel AR experiences such as My Tamagotchi Forever, created by Bandai Namco. The app allows users to raise the Tamagotchi from their childhood in an AR town, which could be set up in the real world.
Then, there is a game called TendAR, where a virtual fish – named Guppy – responds to the emotions of the user and feeds on the emotions of other people. Whether or not such games and other applications will give Google a head start against the recognized ARKit is yet to be seen.
In separate news, the PGA Tour has decided to allow iPhone users to bring the golf course to their home through ARKit. A new app, called PGA Tour AR, uses ARKit to compare the professional golfers against each other and check out featured golf holes. Further, users can identify the player’s strokes and the angles they used to sink the balls.
To use the app, a user will first need to identify the surface with the help of the camera, and then tap the screen to select a hole. Users will then have to select players and rounds to compare shot trails. The app also allows the users to enter the pro player’s name and compare them with the top three other pros. Further, golf balls and terrain can be observed closely by moving the phone near to it, and the set up would reappear as the user tabs out.