While it can't be denied that Google's Tango solution for Augmented Reality is the most capable thing you can get on a phone, no one is using it. That's one of the biggest reasons so many analysts are predicting huge success for Apple's ARKit platform, because it puts a fun-looking AR experience in the hands of millions overnight. It looks like Google liked that idea, and ARCore was announced today as a way to bring AR to millions of phones overnight starting with the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel.
This isn't a bad strategy, even if it sounds a little familiar, but this part here is the most interesting part of the announcement for ARKit users:
And we think the Web will be a critical component of the future of AR, so we're also releasing prototype browsers for web developers so they can start experimenting with AR, too. These custom browsers allow developers to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit.
It's nice to see Google going for a semi-blended approach, if only to encourage developers to build for ARCore as well as ARKit. More AR experiences for either OS is a good thing, and it's going to become increasingly clear the most capable GPU will offer the best overall experience for these AR apps. Between powering the camera, the virtual objects, and the motion sensors to keep it all in place is going to be significant. Battery life and overall performance are going to mean a lot here, and developers will be looking to see which platform lets them push the envelope on these experiences.