What is ARCore?

ARCore, also known as Google Play Services for AR, is a software development kit developed by Google that allows for augmented reality applications to be built. 

ARCore — Google’s AR developer platform — provides simple yet powerful tools to developers for creating AR experiences. ARCore’s features include:

Cloud Anchors

Multi-user, cross-platform experiences across both Android and iOS.

Augmented Faces

Facial tracking with: a 468 point 3D face mesh on devices without a depth sensor.

Environmental HDR

Lighting extension from the real world onto virtual objects to make digital objects appear like they’re actually part of a real-world scene.


What is ARCore and which phones support it?

To use Google Play Services for AR, you need an Android device with:

  • A Google Account
  • ARCore-certification
  • At least 1 GB of free space
  • At least one AR app installed
  • An unmetered mobile network

ARCore uses three key technologies to integrate virtual content with the real world as seen through your phone's camera:

  • Six degrees of freedom allows the phone to understand and track its position relative to the world.
  • Environmental understanding allows the phone to detect the size and location of flat horizontal surfaces like the ground or a coffee table.
  • Light estimation allows the phone to estimate the environment's current lighting conditions.

ARCore has been integrated into a multitude of devices.

How to build with ARCore


In order to augment reality, our devices need to understand it. ARCore provides a variety of tools for understanding objects in the real world. These tools include environmental understanding, which allows devices to detect horizontal and vertical surfaces and planes. They also include motion tracking, which lets phones understand and track their positions relative to the world. As ARCore continues to improve and expand, it will add more contextual and semantic understanding about people, places and things.


Technology such as ARCore’s Light Estimation API lets your digital objects appear realistically — as if they’re actually part of the physical world. And with ARCore Elements — a set of common AR UI components that have been validated with user testing — you can insert AR interactive patterns in your apps without having to reinvent the wheel.


To ensure that you can reach as many users as possible, our Cloud Anchors API allows users to experience AR together — on both Android and iOS.

How it works

Google Play Services for AR lets your device provide AR experiences in apps that were created with Google’s AR platform in mind.

Install Google Play Services for AR

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. Find the Google Play Services for AR app.
  3. Tap Download.

Uninstall Google Play Services for AR

If you don’t use AR apps, you can uninstall Google Play Services for AR.

  1. On your Android device, open the device settings.
  2. Under “Apps & notifications,” find Google Play Services for AR.
  3. Tap Uninstall.

 26 new devices from Oppo, Xiaomi, and Samsung now officially support ARCore