5 genuinely useful augmented reality apps

With the release of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s competitor ARCore, a swarm of new augmented reality apps have graced the app stores. App developers are taking advantage of these new SDKs, which bring precise AR capability to the masses.

Is AR just a phase, or will it breakthrough to mainstream adoption? It’s tempting to brush off augmented reality as a gimmick until you see use cases where AR is genuinely useful.

IKEA Place has a brand new app for testing its furniture

Real Measure AR

Download for iPhone

Throw away your tape measure because Real Measure AR has just made it obsolete. The tape measure is yet another casualty of the iPhone. Most tape measures are only 20 feet long, but Real Measure AR can measure much further with precision.

Why it’s useful: Measure furniture at the store, calculate room area and precise distances wherever you are. Even create floor plans instantly.

Neon: Find your friends at a music festival

Neon App hasn’t even been released yet but the video demonstration showcases how useful AR could be in the event that you lose your friends at a music festival. This app places a virtual marker so you can see exactly where your friends are in the real world.

Why it’s useful: Helps you locate your friends more accurately than a map and takes into account their movement.

IKEA Place

Download for iPhone

Try out IKEA furniture in your own home with IKEA Place. The app features realistic lighting and shadows, so you can get a real feel for what furniture would best suit your home. Interior designers, eat your heart out.

Why it’s useful: Get a better idea of what IKEA furniture could look like in your home.


AR Runner

Download for iPhone
AR Runner is an opinionated fitness app that gets you outdoors. Best used on a field, the app features 3 different game modes to get you more active.

Why it’s useful: When you’re distracted with a fun game, you forget how exhausted you are.


World Brush

Download for iPhone

If you’re a graffiti or street artist, this is a brand new medium for you to try. Draw on top of the real world in 3D with your friends and share your drawings anonymously. You could use this app for brainstorming or idea-generation. The possible uses for this app are broad and limited only by your creativity. You could even leave reviews for a bad place by virtually spray-painting it on their wall. The owners would be none-the-wiser.

Why it’s useful: Graffiti artists can now tag the streets without creating mess or legal trouble.

More AR Apps

If you know of any other useful AR apps, be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments.