Google taking ARCore to next level with AR Stickers, more on Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL

pixel 2
Google launched ARCore, an augmented reality development platform for Android, in August. It’s available in preview on the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S8 ahead of a launch on phones from LG, Asus, and Huawei. But that’s just the start. At an October 4 event in San Francisco, Google announced a slew of ARCore updates pegged for the holiday season.

One of the highlights is AR Stickers, a Google-designed app launching in preview alongside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Using ARCore’s environment-scanning algorithms, the app overlays digital decorations on surfaces like floors, tables, walls, and chairs. Google demoed a few inspired by the hit Netflix series Stranger Things at the event in San Francisco, and said it’s teaming up with brands like Disney, the NBA, NBC, Netflix, and others for the first few sticker packs.


The other new ARCore apps are less exclusive — Google says they’ll work on “most” Android devices running 7.0 Nougat or newer. A new League of Legends app lets spectators watch matches unfold in their living rooms. An updated Lego app puts hundreds of digital kits and pieces at your fingertips. (Google showed a Lego astronaut zooming around in a spaceship.) And a shopping app from Houzz lets you pick, personalize, customize, and “place” furniture before you order it.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are uniquely optimized for ARCore, Clay Bavor, Google’s vice president of AR and VR, said. Thanks to high-fidelity gyroscopes and accelerometers, top-end cameras, and powerful image processors, they’re able to run most ARCore apps at a consistent 60 frames per second — a smoother image than you’re likely to get on less powerful devices.


Google said that ARCore focuses on three critical elements — motion tracking, environmental understanding, and lighting. It determines a device’s position and orientation in space by anchoring onto specific “landmarks” — furniture, for example — in a room, and adjusts for factors like ambient lighting. It’s not unlike Project Tango, the Google-designed depth-sensing platform built into LG’s Phab 2 Pro and Asus’s ZenFone AR. But Google sees the two technologies as complementary.

“We think of Tango more and more as an enabling technology — it’s akin to GPS, where you don’t see devices or apps branded as having this technical capability,” Google told us. “[The public] may not see consumer-branded Tango devices moving forward .”

The new ARCore-enabled apps will be available from Google’s AR Experiments showcase and the Google Play Store when they launch later this year.


The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.

Spruce up your Lenovo smartphone with the best Moto Mods for the Moto Z-series

Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories compatible with Lenovo's Moto Z-series smartphones add a lot of value without adding a lot of bulk. Looking to try one out? Here are a few of our favorite Moto Mods.

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The dramatic BlackBerry Key2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S.

BlackBerry's Key2 is likely to be the best keyboard-equipped phone in 2019, with a modern look, some powerful specs, and totally revamped features. Here's everything you need to know about it.