Nowadays, you don’t have to buy a phone with specialized hardware to enjoy augmented reality applications on Android. Modern smartphones, even mid-ranger ones, are equipped with the necessary hardware to handle AR. All a device really needs these days is an RGB camera, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Google has decoupled all the AR-related software components from Android itself into Google Play Services for AR (formerly called ARCore), an app that’s available on the Google Play Store and which provides an SDK for developers to build AR experiences into their apps.
Google Play Services for AR is automatically pushed to new devices once Google whitelists them on the Play Store. We know when that happens when Google updates its “ARCore supported devices” list. The whitelist system ensures that only devices with sensors have been properly calibrated by the OEM and Google for an optimal augmented reality experience can download and use ARCore-enabled apps. Since our last coverage, 28 new devices have been added to Google’s list.
The following devices now officially support Google Play Services for AR:
Some of these devices supported ARCore out-of-the-box (like the Pixel 4a) but have now been formally added to the list. Others, like the LG Q92, haven’t even been released yet (oops!) If you own one of the devices in this list, check to see if Google Play Services for AR has been pushed to your device yet. Once it has, you’ll be able to download and use any app or feature that depends on ARCore, such as Google Maps’ Live View, Pokémon GO’s AR+ mode, or Google Search’s 3D animals.