Android Augmented Reality Apps
Augmented reality involves overlaying digital images and information on top of a map, or a globe, or your smartphone's camera image, etc.
App developers sometimes add or change or remove features, so there might be slight discrepancies between my descriptions (below) and the current versions of some apps.
3D Compass Plus (AR,map,more)
by Sam Lu (free) - Displays a compass and a map on top of the camera view.
3D Satellite Tracker
by Jupiter Apps (free) - Displays a 3D globe with satellites marked in their current locations, based on satellite data from
Drag the globe to spin it, and use pinch-to-zoom to resize it. The Help file explains the color-coding which indicates the approximate altitude for each satellite. Tap the globe, then tap "Satellites" at the top of the screen in order to filter which satellites are displayed (e.g. satellites which were launched in the last 30 days, or the top 100 most visible satellites, or space stations, or weather satellites, etc.). Also see Satellite AR (below).
by 3dsun.org (free) - Displays descriptions of recent solar activity. In the menu, tap "Sun" to see a false-color rotatable image of the sun, showing its current conditions.
3D World Time
by Jupiter Apps (free) - Displays a 3D globe showing the times in various cities. Drag the globe to spin it, and use pinch-to-zoom to resize it.
Augment - 3D Augmented Reality
by Augment (free) - View 3D images overlaid on top of your camera image. Tap the Augment logo (at the top left corner of the screen) one or more times to see a list of various categories of pre-made objects that you can view (it's possible to create your own 3D images, but I'm not sure how). Tap a category and an object, then tap the "four arrows" button on the left side of the screen to center the object on the screen. Drag the object to move it around, or use pinch-to-zoom to resize it, or use two fingers to rotate it. Go to
the Augment website
and print out a "tracker," then you can select an image in the Augment app on your phone and the image will be displayed on top of the tracker printout when you aim your camera at the tracker. When you move or turn the tracker, the image will move or turn on your screen. Theoretically you can associate a 3D image with your own tracker (any piece of paper) so that when you aim the camera at the tracker then the 3D image will automatically appear. To create a tracker for a 3D image, first select the image to display it on the screen, then tap the word "Tracker" at the top of the screen, then tap "Create Tracker," then follow the instructions. Print out the tracker, then aim the camera at the printout to view the 3D image. I haven't been able to create a custom tracker, and I think I read somewhere that it's not quite working yet with Android. Also see Spacecraft 3D (below).
by Seewald Solutions (free) - Simulates what the world looks like to a person with color blindness (red, green, or blue). For example, if the word "Red" is in the bottom left corner of the screen then the left half of the screen shows how the world looks to someone who has red color blindness, and the right side of the screen shows a normal view of how the world looks. Aim your camera at various objects to see how they look in both halves of the screen. Open the menu to switch between red, green, and blue color blindness, and to try out the correction feature.
by Quest-Com Co.,Ltd (free) - Shoot the droids which are attacking you. Tap the "Start Game" button, then look all around you through your phone's camera. When you see a droid, tap the "Fire" button to shoot a laser beam at it. Tap the "Change Weapons" button to change the type of weapon. The radar image in the top left corner shows where the droids are (you're in the center of the radar image).
Find My Car
by eLibera (free) - Allows you to save your current GPS location in order to find it later, such as marking the location of your car. Tap the "Park" button to save your current GPS position, then you can turn your GPS off. You can type in a title for your current position (or leave the title blank to overwrite the default title), then type the "Create new" button to save the record. Tap the "Find" button to see a list of your saved records. Tap an item in the list to see the saved location on a map. You can also get navigation directions to your saved location. The "Walk" option will show your current position on a map, with turn-by-turn directions showing how to walk to the saved location. The "Car" option does the same thing as "Walk" except it provides a driving route instead of a walking route. The paid version provides compass directions to your saved location, and it allows you to attach a photo of a location to help you find it when you don't have a GPS signal.
by A&E Television Networks Mobile (free) - This is the HISTORY (on A&E) app for displaying points of historical interest on a map (for your current location or for any location that you enter in the search bar). Drag the map to pan around, or use pinch-to-zoom to resize the map. At the top of the screen, the "curved arrows" icon refreshes the current display, and the "world map" icon toggles between the street view and the regular view on the map. The "magnifying glass" icon allows you to do a search. The "globe" icon displays the map. The "text" icon displays descriptions (text and pictures) of various points of interest based on the current map location (tap an item for a more detailed description). The "star" icon displays your saved favorites.
by Layar (free) - Displays locations near you (ATMs, restaurants, historical locations, or whatever category you choose) in the direction that your camera is facing. If you're in the camera view then tap "GeoLayers" at the top of the screen to see a list of layers that you can view, and swipe left or right to see more lists of layers. Many of these layers were made by users, and you can create your own custom layers (although I'm not sure how). Also see Wikitude (below), World Around Me (below), and Yelp (below). When printed materials such as ads contain the Layar logo, you can scan them with the Layar app to see the printed materials come to life on your phone's screen.
by Analytical Graphics, Inc. (free) - Displays the satellites which are in earth's orbit in the direction which your phone's camera is facing, along with the projected path of each satellite, based on data from
A star map is also displayed to help you locate the satellites in the night sky. If there are no satellites in the direction you're viewing, an arrow will be displayed to show you which direction to turn to find some satellites. Use pinch-to-zoom for resizing the display. You can also filter which satellites are displayed (e.g. potentially visible satellites, or satellites which were launched in the last 30 days, or space stations, or weather satellites, etc.). Also see 3D Satellite (above).
Sky Map +
by Sky Map Devs (free) - Displays the brightest stars, constellations, and planets which are visible in the direction that your camera is pointing (planets are shown larger than their actual size in the sky). Use pinch-to-zoom to resize the display. To search for a specific object, open the menu and tap "Search," then type in the object's name. Turn your phone in the direction that the arrow is pointing, and when you're facing the right direction then your object will be identified inside a circle. Tap the "X" to close the search window. In the menu you can also turn on "night mode" (which dims the display to protect your night vision), and see a gallery of interesting photos, and use "Time Travel" mode to see the stars, constellations, and planets as they appear at other dates and times.
by Smart Tools co. (free) - Allows you to find the distance and height of far-away objects. First, open the Options menu and enter the height that you're holding the phone (from ground level). To see how far away an object is, aim the rear-facing camera at it so the cross-hairs are at the
of the object (where the object meets the ground). Tap the "shutter" button at the bottom right side of the screen to freeze the distance value. To measure the height of the object, tap the "tree" icon on the left side of the screen. Put the cross-hairs on
of the object, then tap the "shutter" button at the bottom right side of the screen to freeze the height value. In my limited testing, the distance and height measurements were reasonably accurate.
by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (free) - Displays 3D images of various NASA spacecraft (e.g. the Curiosity rover on Mars, and the Voyager satellite, and so on). First you must print
the AR target (or marker),
which is a one-page PDF containing a large image of what appear to be pebbles (they're actually grains from a sand dune) plus a smaller version of that image plus a picture of the Curiosity rover. Place the printout on a table. On your phone, tap the "Select Spacecraft" button, then tap a spacecraft. Aim the camera at the large image of the sand dune, keeping your phone a couple of feet from the printout, and a 3D image of your selected spacecraft will appear on the screen. Move your phone up, down, left, and right to see the spacecraft from different angles (or move the paper in different directions). If you point your camera at the smaller image of the sand dune then you'll see a smaller 3D image of the spacecraft. At the bottom of the screen, the first icon will rotate the spacecraft 180 degrees. The second icon will let you increase or decrease the size of the spacecraft, or take a picture of it. For some of the spacecraft (e.g. the Curiosity rover), the third icon will perform various animations. The last icon provides some information about the spacecraft. Also see Augment - 3D Augmented Reality (above).
by JiWire Inc. (free) - Displays nearby WiFi networks, showing their signal strength and whether or not they're free.
by Wikitude GmbH (free) - Displays locations near you (restaurants, hotels, events, ATMs, or whatever category you choose) in the direction that your camera is facing. The radar image in the top left corner shows where the locations are (you're in the center of the radar image). The "floating billboards" are small and hard to read, but you can tap a billboard to see more information about it at the bottom of the screen. Locations can also be displayed on a map or in a scrollable list by tapping the icons at the top of the screen. Also see Layar (above), World Around Me (below), and Yelp (below).
World Around Me Lite - AR
by WT InfoTech (free) - Displays locations near you (restaurants, bars & pubs, movie theaters, gas stations, banks, pharmacies, or whatever category you choose) in the direction that your camera is facing. The radar image in the top left corner shows where the locations are (you're in the center of the radar image). The "floating billboards" display the name of each restaurant (for example) and its distance from you, and you can tap the billboard to see the phone number, or visit their website, or get directions, or read reviews. Locations can also be displayed on a map or in a scrollable list by tapping the icons at the top of the screen. Also see Layar (above), Wikitude (above), and Yelp (below).
by Yelp (free) - Displays locations near you (restaurants, bars & pubs, movie theaters, gas stations, banks, pharmacies, or whatever category you choose) in the direction that your camera is facing, if you tap the "Monocle" icon on the main screen. The radar image in the top left corner shows where the locations are (you're in the center of the radar image). The "floating billboards" display the name of each restaurant (for example) and its distance from you, and you can tap the billboard to see the phone number, or visit their website, or get directions, or read reviews. Locations can also be displayed on a map or in a scrollable list. Also see Layar (above), Wikitude (above), and World Around Me (above).
June 09, 2013 - New page.