The 8 best AR games and apps to spice up your smartphone photos

Augmented Reality is a digital technology that embeds real environments and objects with virtual elements enhanced by computer generation. You are essentially seeing a mixed perception of reality within a game/app that supports AR functionality, slightly different than virtual reality (VR) where everything is digital and mimics a real-world environment. Even Google has jumped on the bandwagon by introducing ARCore (Google Play Services for AR), a platform built for AR functionality where developers can access the necessary APIs for their AR games. People can use AR-enabled apps and games to get creative with photography, teach people with AR models (like Google’s 3D animals for kids), gather information for future purchases and renovations, and find entertainment while they’re in the real world playing games and participating in social activities. With AR, the world is your oyster.


Since this is Mobile Photography Week, at Android Police we’ve selected a handful of AR-powered apps and games that work great when capturing screens on your Android device, so you can get into the creative apps that match the real thing Allow the world to mingle with the digital realm for some snazzy looking pictures. So if you’re looking to add flair to your photos through augmented reality, today’s roundup is for you.

Pikmin bloom

We already know that Niantic is well versed in augmented reality and offers many well-known IPs in its AR games, especially Pokémon GO. But you’re essentially bringing the Nintendo Pikmin magic to every place you go, your backyard, your yard, your family picnic table, literally anywhere. If you’re unfamiliar with Pikmin, it’s a tiny, half-plant, half-animal species that comes in a range of bright colors. In Pikmin Bloom, you are responsible for planting seedlings, picking Pikmin, and feeding your Pikmin nectar to collect flowers to bloom on its head. So while you collect and build an army of Pikmin, you might as well take them out to explore in a real-world setting at a photoshoot with your favorites. Finally, having your own plant guardians pictured next to your garden can bring some luck to your summer harvest.

Jurassic World lives

Ever dreamed of seeing a T-Rex come to life while roaming your nearest major city, almost as if you were in a Jurassic Park movie? Jurassic World Alive is a Pokémon GO-like game in which you can collect different types of dinosaurs and fight other dinosaurs. AR mode isn’t activated immediately, but it’s easy to turn on. Just navigate to Collection and tap the AR button. If you enable AR mode, you can spawn each dinosaur in your collection in the surrounding real environment and then take a photo or a video in the app.

Ingress Prime

The gameplay of Ingress, another Niantic product, is a little lighter (you don’t necessarily fight and collect), where you face off against an opposing faction for control of a resource called Exotic Matter (XM). Your mission is to work with your faction and claim portals (landmarks around you) so you can help your faction gain an advantage over the other. Ingress Prime is less of a game and more of a different form of reality. Taking pictures of the portals and getting them approved helps earn experience points, but most importantly you provide an opportunity by creating new portals that your faction could take over. While the premise may seem simple (on the surface), Ingress Prime might be the app to try next time you’re looking for an incentive to get out and take photos of the objects around you.

DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition

Transform your nearest town into Gotham as you role-play as your very own Batman. Use technology as your weapon to defeat Gotham’s newest villains including the Joker, Mr. Freeze and the Riddler. DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition features 10 AR missions and 10 mini-games while immersing you in even more digital content about the DC Universe via the DC Kids YouTube channel. The game’s photo-taking features allow you to turn your selfie montage into Gotham City’s most iconic characters. Are you the next superhero or evil villain? Take a picture to find out!

Knightfall AR

Have you thought about playing a tower defense game right on your living room table? With Knightfall AR you can do that by taking on the role of the Knights Templar protecting the Holy Grail from the Mamluk warriors. Outside of the primary game mode, you can place your unlocked characters on any flat surface. This can be the bathroom floor, the dining area or even your patio. Any choice is enough to take photos of your characters while showing off their most gallant poses, which may be what you need to jump-start your roleplaying career.

Google Lens

You can’t name the object you saw each day because you just didn’t pay close attention as you walked by, or maybe you’re out and there are billboards and signs nearby that you can’t read, right? would it be useful if this text was translated into your native language? Well, Google Lens might be the app for you. Knowledge is power, and your nifty mobile device is the key to unlocking that knowledge (more power to you). With Google Lens, you can scan anything just by using a picture or your built-in camera. This comes in handy when you need specific information about something you’ve seen before but can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. After all, pictures say more than 1000 words.


Perhaps you’ve looked into, or at least heard of, Snapchat, the insanely popular instant messaging app that allows users to create shared stories that often include video and photo uploads. If you’re shy about taking selfies, you can add some silly filters to lighten the mood while taking photos in the app itself. But not only does Snapchat have tons of fun filters to experiment with, it also recently introduced more AR features, including Custom Landmarker (part of Lens Studio) to create your own AR effects and experiences for local places around you to create . So try to spice up your images with this AR creation tool next time you’re out and then see what kind of reaction you get from your friends after sharing the story.


Have you ever wondered how a new leather sofa would fit and look in your living room, or dreamed if a mahogany dining table would match your new cabinets? Wayfair gives you access to a wide variety of home furniture and decor in every price range and style you desire. This is where AR technology comes in; You can choose any of the store’s furniture and add it to your home without leaving home, all via AR; This way you can check what your new product looks like before you buy it. Not only does Wayfair help you visualize what you’re buying beforehand, but you can also snag in-app offers and bargains that can come in handy as a time saver. Also, you can take screenshots of how this furniture looks on your screen to share with friends and family for advice on your next purchase.

Take more pictures with AR technology

Mobile photography is not only a relaxing activity when you are traveling and sightseeing, but also a way to make and publish your adventures. Sometimes, as part of tourism, we end up seeing redundancies in the photos we take, probably due to the popularity of certain locations and locations. It’s all the more difficult to post an image that leaves a lasting impression on your viewers, which is why we’re turning to AR functionality for additional support. Now we have the opportunity to change things up and possibly add a creative and unique flair to a gallery simply by sharing your creations using the cameras on one of the best new Android phones.

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