Skip to main content

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino wants to take you on an augmented reality journey into his universe with the launch of his new multiplayer app, Pharos AR, available on Android from today, and coming soon to iOS.

Childish Gambino’s legendary dance moves came to Google Pixel range’s Playground earlier this year, and gave fans the chance to dance and take selfies with an AR version of their hero. The experience clearly gave the This Is America performer a taste for mobile AR technology. Pharos AR is a free app that promises to take you into Childish Gambino’s personal universe, complete with his tunes playing in the background.

Boot up the app and you’ll be asked to find an open space to enter your portal to Childish Gambino’s AR world. Open it up and step through and you’ll find yourself in an augmented cave, where you’ll be asked to locate and activate a number of hidden glyphs. Once you’ve activated those glyphs, your journey through multiple worlds begins. You’ll need to move around to experience it properly, so make sure you’re in an area where you can do that easily. Thankfully, you’ll still be able to see the world around you through your device, so you don’t need to worry too much about falling over your coffee table — unless you get really into the music.

Best of all, you don’t need to explore Childish Gambino’s universe by yourself. Thanks to the app being built on Google’s ARCore, multiplayer experiences are possible, and your friends will be able to join you and interact with elements of the app simultaneously. Thanks to ARCore, you should be able to play with a friend on an iPhone while you’re on Android.

While the Pharos app certainly seems to be more of a visual and aural AR experience, and not really a fully-fledged AR video game, it’s still worth checking out if you’re a die-hard fan of Donald Glover’s alter-ego, or just curious about what the medium can offer. You can check it out on Android right now, with the iOS app coming soon. If this app has whetted your appetite for more, then you can check out our favorite AR apps for iOS and Android as well.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
iOS 17 could come with these 6 exciting changes
Someone holding the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As we get closer and closer to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), where we expect the unveiling of the company's  mixed reality headset, the rumors about iOS 17 continue to pile up every day too.

According to a Weibo post from the same user who revealed that the iPhone 14 would come in a yellow color, iOS 17 may bring six big new features. Some of these changes involve the Control Center, lock screen, Apple Music, and App Library.

Read more
iPhone Lockdown Mode: how to use the security feature (and why you should)
Lockdown mode for iPhone

Apple takes pride in selling a promise of privacy to its customers, and to a large extent, it lives up to that promise. As cyber criminals devise new ways to target phones, with tools as sophisticated and virtually undetectable as the Pegasus spyware, Apple also keeps fortifying its devices.

One step in that direction is Lockdown Mode, an “extreme” safety measure that was introduced with iOS 16 last year. The feature blocks a lot of vectors through which a zero-click, zero-day spyware like Pegasus finds its way inside a phone. From phone calls and message attachments to shared albums and network profiles, Lockdown Mode limits those risk routes.

Read more
An iPhone just blocked one of the worst spyware attacks on the planet
Lockdown Mode information page on an iPhone 14 Pro.

Apple released an “extreme safety” measure bundled with iOS 16 last summer, and it's targeted at sophisticated spyware that is usually deployed covertly against government agencies. It appears that Apple’s safety tool is effective, to a certain extent, against Pegasus — one of the most devastating surveillance attacks ever documented. 
Citizen Lab, the security group based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, has detailed a pair of zero-click exploits that targeted iOS 15 and iOS 16 devices last year. Labeled PWNYOURHOME and FINDMYPWN, these exploits were widely used by Pegasus-maker NSO Group against targets in Mexico and elsewhere.

The security lab notes that on iPhones with Lockdown Mode enabled, the target got real-time notifications if the Pegasus spyware tried to exploit the PWNYOURHOME vulnerability. NSO Group may have eventually devised a workaround against the alert system, but in general, there is no evidence that the aforementioned security flaw was abused on any device with Lockdown mode enabled.  
“Given that we have seen no indications that NSO has stopped deploying PWNYOURHOME, this suggests that NSO may have figured out a way to correct the notification issue, such as by fingerprinting Lockdown Mode,” Citizen Lab writes in its exhaustive report.
The security lab suggests that all at-risk users should enable Lockdown Mode to ensure that they don’t become the next targets of Pegasus-fueled illicit surveillance — or any such spyware that is virtually impossible to detect in the wild.

Read more