Ever since the dawn of the on-device app store, Apple has always had some big advantages over Android. In the early days, Android developer tools were terrible and the resulting apps were just as bad. Meanwhile, Apple kept things fairly simple in the early days, so developers had no trouble building iOS apps that offered terrific user experiences.
Then as time moved on, Google began to turn things around with Android, and app quality improved dramatically as a result. Even still, mobile app developers favored iOS by a wide margin. Popular apps and updates always came to iOS before Android. In fact, some top developers still chose to focus only on iOS, since there was so much more money to be made than there was on the Android platform.
Fast-forward to today, and the playing field is much more level. Android app quality is often on par with iOS app quality, or at least close to it, and far fewer notable developers choose to focus only on iOS apps. As a matter of fact, sometimes the opposite is now true — and it turns out that two of our favorite new augmented reality (AR) apps are exclusive to the Android platform.
First up, we have a very nifty new app from Sotheby’s. Through its partnership with an app developer called RoOomy, Sotheby’s has released a new app called Curate that allows users to virtually stage rooms in any home with all sorts of different furniture and other home furnishings. It was built using Google’s ARCore software development kit, and it works quite well. The app is useful for people looking to buy or rent a new home, since it can often be difficult to picture what an empty space will look like once it’s furnished. It’s also useful when decorating or redecorating a room in one’s own home.
Here’s a video of the app in action:
Here’s the description from the Google Play store:
Design your future home and shop for home furnishings through an immersive Augmented Reality experience with Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty brand powered by roOomy. Built as a visualization tool for homebuyers, renters and real estate agents, Curate by SIR uses roOomy’s state-of-the-art technology to let you see how furniture and décor will look, feel, and fit as you envision your home. Interact with the products you love – tap to purchase them on retailers’ websites.
How It Works
– For Agents: Virtually stage properties in Augmented Reality from the palm of your hand.
– Open Curate while touring a property and easily visualize an empty space.
– Scroll through and select from Curate’s room scene library, comprised of beautifully crafted interior designs, including traditional dining rooms, mid-century master suites, modern living rooms, and much more.
– View entire room sets in Augmented Reality with all furnishings to-scale.
– Hover over items for more information about the product and a link to shop on retailers’ websites.
– Screenshot rooms to save and share.
Why It Matters for Real Estate Professionals
– Showcase properties in multiple styles and functions.
– No more physical staging.
– Transform a home during a showing to meet your client’s tastes.
– Augment your client’s experience throughout their entire journey.
– Expedite and facilitate the process of showing a home.
Why It Matters for Homebuyers, Renters and Homeowners
– Overcome visualization barriers – see through a space’s current design and into the future.
– Avoid complex measurements and guesswork – see what fits and connect with your home like never before.
– Simplify the home furnishing, decorating, and move-in process.
Curate by SIR is the innovative Augmented Reality luxury real estate tool – envision, design, and experience your future home in immersive Augmented Reality
Next up, we have a fun new AR app from Google called Just a Line, a very fun app that lets you draw lines, patterns, and objects in mid-air. Then you can record mixed reality videos and share them with friends. A video is worth 1,000 words:
Here’s the description from the Play store, followed by a download link:
Just a Line is an AR Experiment that lets you make simple drawings in augmented reality, then share your creation with a short video. Touch the screen to draw, then hit record and share what you make with #justaline. Just a Line works on any device that supports ARCore.
This is an AR Experiment. To learn more, visit g.co/ARExperiments.
You can also find the open source code for this project at https://github.com/googlecreativelab/ar-drawing-java.