Mobile apps that bring the virtual world right into your home may soon be ubiquitous. With AR applications on the rise, there will also be major changes for Android app developers. The Google Play app store houses over 3.6 million Android-based apps, with a small fraction being AR-based applications. Due to the popularity of AR technology, there has been an increase in demand for AR-based applications. Many Android app developers are stepping up to meet that demand.
New APIs That Simplify AR Development
Any Android app developer who has worked with AR tech in its early stages can tell you about the frustrations they have encountered with complicated APIs such as OpenGL. These complex tools once constituted a higher barrier to entry for Android app developers. In order to address this issue, there have been a number of simplified AR SDKs that have emerged to aid Android developers who are eager to build an AR app. A few SDK names you might hear of include Vuforia, ARCore and ARkit, all of which are making both marker-based and marker-less AR development more approachable. Let’s take a look into Google’s ARcore for Android and how it is simplifying AR development. According to an article from Techrepublic, a recent ARCore update has added cloud anchors, vertical plane detection and Sceneform framework. The addition of these features into the SDK allows Android developers to create AR applications without having to deal with OpenGL or other difficult-to-learn APIs.
AR Android Developers Will Be in Demand
With the emergence of various AR SDKs that allow for a lower barrier of entry to the world of AR development, there is no doubt that there will be a greater demand for AR developers to construct AR applications for various businesses and startups. Now that AR tech is more readily available and rather inexpensive to produce, there are more reasons for businesses to begin developing their AR app ideas. With more companies creating AR apps, this in turn will create a demand for AR developers.
AR Development Will Connect to IoT
One other bleeding-edge technology that is garnering attention alongside AR tech is the Internet of Things. Basically, IoT refers to various devices and machines that are all connected through the internet. According to an article by PCMag, a bridge between these technologies could lead to more cutting-edge innovation. Since AR tech allows for virtual objects to appear to be placed within the real world and IoT can connect various device across the internet, combining these two technologies could allow for innovative projects to emerge. Such projects could replace manuals, brochures and training documents used by various universities and companies to train students and employees. Android development will change to meet these new tech demands by encouraging Android developers to learn IoT alongside Android AR development. This will also diversify an Android developer’s technical skillset to encompass two in-demand technologies.
Application Design Will Aim to Become More Interactive
Shopping apps often face the issue of costly returns when the items don’t meet the user’s needs or expectations. AR applications now look to fix this problem by allowing users to place virtual furniture inside their own house or even “try on” clothing through the AR camera. According to one Forbes article on AR marketing, large retail companies are aiming to use AR technology to help influence the customer’s buying decision. What this means for Android developers is that there will be a shift away from standalone apps that only allow users to browse and buy products. Fully interactive features will allow users to experiment with virtual products in their own house through AR.
Optimization of AR Games for Mobile Devices
The fifth and final way that AR is changing Android development is in the form of mobile gaming. Mobile gaming is a huge market that Android app developers can specialize in. WIth the popularity of the AR game Pokemon Go, which was released in the summer of 2016, there has been a major demand for AR developers to craft the next big AR game. What makes AR games so appealing is the ability to interact with game objects, items and enemies within the real world. This causes players to feel fully immersed in the game. Since AR games are currently grabbing the audience’s attention, Android developers need to consider what makes an AR game fun and what elements would make it enjoyable or exciting for the player.
There are various ways AR is changing the world of Android development. With the right skill set and a clear understanding of the latest trends, there are many ways to create an Android app that will satisfy the users’ curiosity for AR. AR developers are playing a leading role in building bridges between our reality and the virtual world.