Google has announced that ARCore is out of preview and launching as version 1.0 and rolling out to more devices worldwide.

Why is this important and why are you reading about this on the GO Hub? Simply put, Android players did not have access to Pokemon GO’s AR Plus feature because ARCore was not available at the time of release. With this release, we could be seeing AR Plus on select Android devices soon.

Google is releasing the ARCore framework on 13 different models right now (Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge; LGE’s V30 and V30+ (Android O only); ASUS’s Zenfone AR; and OnePlus’s OnePlus 5) with more upcoming devices to be released this year.

As of the time of this writing, it seems that Google is planning to enable ARCore only on devices that will be released in 2018 and onward, but luckily, their plans include all major phone companies:

  • Samsung, Huawei, LGE, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo

What is Google’s AR Core?

Google’s ARCore is a second generation AR framework, similar to Apple’s ARKit, and enables complex AR interactions with the real world:

  • plane detection
  • real world lightning
  • scene depth recognition

In the context of Pokemon GO, this translates to two interesting features:

  • AR Plus, which enables catching Pokemon by sneaking up on them, in real world scale, lightning and orientation. Ever wanted to see Snorlax in full scale? Here’s your answer
  • AR sandbox (demoed, but not yet released) is an experimental environment for viewing your Pokemon in their full scale. The sandbox was demoed on Apple’s keynote in 2017, but never released to players.