6 AR Apps to Try Out in 2020

By Avi Ben Ezra Sunday, July 5, 2020

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the hottest tech trends of the moment. It allows the user to see their real-life environment with overlaid digital imagery on their device, as experts would define it.

It is truly a multipurpose tool that can entertain us, teach us new things, and help us make everyday decisions. We look at various successful AR apps from different categories below — not all of which were published this year, but they all still bring something special to the table.

Just a Line

Available on both Android and iPhone, Just a Line is a widely beloved doodle app that gets your creative juices flowing. This fun app developed by Google lets you point your camera at any spot around you and 3D draw on top of it, adding whatever elements you’d like in your environment. 

You can draw alone or collaborate with a friend in real-time, a function that allows you to create something together but can even be used to play a real-life 3D version of tic-tac-toe, for example. Once you’re happy with your design, the app lets you make a video of your creation and share it.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

After Niantic’s first AR smash hit Pokémon GO, the publisher released a new AR game in collaboration with another massively popular franchise: Harry Potter. 

The point of the game is to go around town to collect items, find other characters and creatures, make your own potions and cast spells, battle enemies, and everything you’d expect from a Harry Potter game. Fans of the books and movies, whether driven by nostalgia or curiosity, should certainly give it a try and live out their Hogwarts Fantasy.

IKEA

If you’re about to re-do up your home or office, or even just purchase a few new items, be sure to check out IKEA’s AR app called Place. It very cleverly lets you overlay the furniture and furnishings that you’re considering into your real-life home, very quickly showing you whether it would fit and suit the space without spending a penny from your budget. 

One of the app’s latest features lets you place several objects in a space, rather than one by one – an ideal tool for when you’re renovating or redecorating a place.

Civilizations

On the learning side, Civilizations is a fascinating app that turns your environment into an ancient history and civilizations museum. Brought to you by collaboration between the BBC and several museums, this app offers a collection of ancient art and artifacts to explore and learn the history of in 3D. The pieces are of the same themes as the BBC’s series, also called Civilizations, but can certainly be used without the user having to watch the show.

As an example, one of the artifacts is a sarcophagus, of which you can even see the content (i.e., the mummy) using the x-ray feature on the app.

Mondly

This app is a game-changer amongst learning apps. You can use Mondly to learn any of the 33 languages available, all the while having your AR tutor in the room with you. This virtual teacher will have a conversation, and you can look up the words they are presenting you with during the lesson. 

This feature is the app's wow-factor, as the rest of its features are mostly standard for language apps: daily reminders, quizzes, and leader boards to see where you rank compared to friends or other users around the world.

Stellarium

For anyone remotely interested in science and the universe, this app is truly captivating. By pointing it at the sky, its AR feature maps out constellations, planets, satellites, comets, and other objects in outer space. It has a catalog of over 600,000 stars and lets you discover other galaxies, zoom in on objects, and simulate landscapes. Luckily, it comes with a night mode to help with eye strain when you’re stargazing in the dark.

From therapeutic doodling to chasing wizards, learning a new language, and making purchase decisions, AR is here to enhance our lives in so many ways. New apps are constantly being developed, and some of the ones suggested here are bound to make you a fan of this technology.

About the Author


Headshot of author Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Cofounder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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