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How to use the Measure app in iOS 12

Moving into a new space and wondering if your old desk will fit? Most people would suggest you measure the desk with a measuring tape, but if you're running iOS 12 you don't need even need that!

The new Measure app allows you to use augmented reality (AR) to measure lines using only the back camera of your iPhone. The Measure app works pretty well in a pinch if you find yourself without a tape measure near you.

Which iPhone models can get the Measure app

While lots of devices can upgrade to iOS 12, not all iPhone models compatible with Apple's newest iOS can use the Measure app.

The Measure app only works on iPhone models that support ARKit. In short, you need an iPhone SE or an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus and newer to take advantage of the new software.

How to download the Measure app

Once you upgrade to iOS 12, if your iPhone is compatible with ARKit, the Measure app should install automatically. If it doesn't or you deleted the app previously, you can download it from the App Store free of charge at any time.

  1. Launch the App Store from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the *search tab** in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  3. Enter Measure in the search bar.
  4. Tap Search
  5. Tap Get or the iCloud button.

How to measure an object in the Measure app

As of right now, the Measure app can only measure straight lines, and since it uses the back camera, the more light you have, the better results you'll likely have.

  1. Launch the Measure app from your Home screen.
  2. Move the white dot to your start point. It will try to snap to corners when the camera comes across one.
  3. Tap the + button to select your start point.

  1. Move the white dot to your endpoint.
  2. Tap the + button to select your endpoint.
  3. Look at the final measurement located in the middle of the line. You may need to step back to see it.

How to use the level in the Measure app on iPhone

The level tool in iOS 12 is the same as it has been in past version of the iOS, except its been moved to the new Measure app.

  1. Launch Measure from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Level.

Horizontal level

  1. Place your iPhone flat on the surface of the object you're trying to level off.
  2. Tilt your iPhone in all directions until you hit 0 degrees and the screen turns green.
  3. You can tap once to turn the black screen red, and it will stay that way until your iPhone is level, at which point it'll turn green.

Vertical level

  1. Hold your iPhone against the object that you're trying to vertically level.
  2. Tilt your iPhone in all directions until you hit 0 degrees and the bottom half of the screen turns green.
  3. If you want to then take another measurement off of that angle, tap the level once. You'll then see red as you stray away from the angle you were on. This can help you measure 90-degree and 45-degree angles.


Let us know in the comments below!

Updated October 2018: Updated with information about which iPhone models support the Measure app.

Luke Filipowicz
Luke Filipowicz

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • I haven't seen anything regarding built in VPN. Isn't that new?
  • Huh? iOS 12 doesn't have a built-in VPN, it has VPN support via Settings (L2TP etc) but that's been there for a long time
  • I have two questions about the Measure app.
    1. Is it suppose to be installed with iOS 12. On my iPhone 6 Plus it wasn't installed with the update.
    2. Does it require specific hardware, so not all phones compatible with iOS 12 can run it. On the 6 Plus, when I go to the app store to install the Measure app, the store won't let me install it, giving the message "This app requires specific features not available on this device". I assume that the answer for #2 is the reason for #1.
  • The Measure app requires ARKit. On this table on the 2nd row, you can see the devices that support "arkit"
  • Is the Measure app limited to measuring table tops? Seems like it only recognizes tables and other objects sitting on the floor. Bummer. I would like to measure my room, doors and windows.
  • You should be able to measure from one side of the room to the other, but it won't give you a floor plan. There are many great apps that do this however.
  • This measure app is a joke waiting for a tragedy... it’s fun to use but don’t trust it! Trying it out for the first time, I get accuracy something like +/-20%. Like using a rubber band and calling it tape measure. :)
  • It's not supposed to be 100% accurate, it's just to give you a rough idea of how big something is. I'm pretty sure there's a warning in the app that tells you this