26 June 2018
Google has announced the release of ARCore 1.2 which has arrived within four months of version 1.0. With the newest version, the biggest addition is support for shared AR experiences. This basically means that users will be able to play multiplayer games in AR and share other AR experiences with their friends and family. To make this announcement even bigger, Google revealed that this support will also work with iOS devices.
In order to make shared AR experiences a reality, Google is making use of a new capability called Cloud Anchors. While the underlying technicalities are unknown, they will basically make it possible to synchronize the AR experiences running across multiple devices. This will allow users to make better use of AR like decorating the home along with other person and playing Tic Tac Toe with them.
The next significant addition to ARCore is the introduction of Vertical Plane Detection. This will basically give more freedom to users when it comes to placing AR objects. They are currently restricted to placing AR objects on plane surfaces but with the new addition, it will be possible to place them on vertical surfaces like textured walls. Google has also announced Augmented Images which brings images to action by simply pointing the camera at them. This can be helpful in different situations like seeing what's inside the box without actually opening it.
Google is also making it easier and faster for developers to create AR apps and experiences. It has introduced Sceneform technology which will allow Java devs to create 3D apps without having to learn complex APIs first. It can be used for creating completely new AR apps or for adding AR capabilities to an existing app. The good thing is that the new ARCore rollout has already started which means developers can start working even today instead of waiting.