Google Renames its ARcore Mobile AR Platform to ‘Google Play Services for AR’, For End Users
Google’s mobile AR developer interface will still be called ARCore but the user app on Android has been renamed to Google Play Services for AR. This means on the Google Play devices, the platform will now be distributed as part of the Google Play Services.
The ARCore is Google’s mobile augmented reality platform. It was launched in 2017 which led to Google’s deprecation of Tango in favor of the current platform which does not need any specialized sensors, hardware or cameras.
The Play Store listing was updated today with the new name. The name-change is also mentioned in the app description. The listing explains that the Google Play Services for AR is an Android package which will unlock the AR experiences that have been developed with the ARCore SDK on certified Android devices.
In spite of the name change, it doesn’t appear like Google will also be altering the ARCore branding which has the purple 3D logo. The logo remains unchanged even after name-change. The Google Developers AR page, on the other hand, still retains the ARCore name prominently featured even as it avails the latest version of the ARCore service for download as an Android emulator or APK.
With the new changes, Android users that have compatible smartphones don’t have to install an additional app that has augmented reality features anymore. The service will also be updated automatically. The description of the service tells users to install the app in order to discover new ways through which they can shop, learn or experience the world together.
The new name is apt as it emphasizes the integration of AR into Google’s proprietary Play background services. It also reflects the fact that the augmented reality software will be updated automatically in the background without user intervention.
The name Google Play Services for AR’ aptly describes a service which will be driving the augmented reality features that are being used by both the first and third-party apps on Android while also bringing forth new features.
The name ARCore was similarly coined to describe the applications that users would expect to interact with directly. However, it is still not apparent if Google Play Services for AR will be updated in the background from now on. At this moment, users still have the option to either accept or deny a new version.
The versioning has been retained with the Google Play Services for AR having the latest 1.11 version. The name change has also been referenced in the release notes on Github.
The ARCore brand has grown dramatically over the past two years to become a ubiquitous name among VR/AR/MR developers. It was developed in response to Apple’s ARKit ascent. It is a purely software solution which came after Google’s “tango” AR hardware initiative which Google marketed for quite some time a few years back. The Tango smartphones had extra sensors installed for a more accurate augmented reality rendering and displays but the initiative ultimately failed because there was no added value in the market.