The best augmented reality apps for Android

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 31 Jul 2014

Use your camera for more than just selfies pictures of lattes
augmented reality apps

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Augmented reality is one of those futuristic-sounding technologies that wows your friends at a cocktail party. Apps like yar Goggles are among many that seek to combine your surroundings location to give you contextual information.

Magazines retail stores are starting to recognize the ubiquity of smartphones are plastering their products with QR codes other scannable objects. The space is somewhat fragmented, with several proprietary codes symbols out there for you to scan with their matching applications.

at follows are some of the best apps in this category to ramp up your smartphone’s scanning power.


will certainly not leave itself out of any kind of search technology, that includes searching the real world by taking photos of things.

Goggles can scan not only QR codes but also products ads to find related content. You can even take pictures of books, album covers, or famous artwork to get more info.

th Goggles you need to just experiment try out scanning everyday items (although you may get funny looks if you do this excessively). 

Goggles (Free)


yar was one of the first apps to jump into the augmented reality scene, offering its app on the ione before there was a burgeoning app market on Android.

th yar you can just point your phone at anything it find if there are restaurants, bars, or other points of interest worth discovering. You can also scan print articles or ads to get a mixture of offers to purchase the item or perhaps see a movie trailer from a print ad.

A yar Glass app is also available if you are one of the few proud owners want to scan the items around you with minimal effort.

yar (free)

Star lk
star walk app

Star lk was one of the first apps to create a form of digital stargazing with augmented reality. unch the app, hold it over your head at the night sky it creates a virtual window into the heavens.

The Star lk database has over 200,000 celestial bodies a substantial bank of information about planets, satellites, constellations. One of the coolest features is the e Machine, which will explore the map of the night sky from years past or into the future.

Star lk ($2.93)


Blippar is a popular choice for many magazines to offer a digital link to their content advertisements.

For example, Sunset uses Blippar with the publication’s print ads. Scanning the page will generate a “Buy Now” button that takes you right to the product’s web site. Sometimes the link is to a non-mobile site, so it can be rather challenging to maneuver on the phone. The content varies by what the company has programmed into its Blippar connection, with some sites choosing to add in games or contests.

Blippar (Free)

IKEA Catalog
ikea catalogue app

The popular Swedish furniture maker is using its app to make its paper catalog more interactive. Use the IKEA Catalog app to scan the items from the catalogue get extra images content suggestions. You can save items to a shopping list get 360-degree suggested room layout. The shopping list could be rather useful as IKEA stores are infamous for being a tomb of network connectivity.

IKEA Catalog (Free)


kitude is much like Goggles, with a feature it calls “computer vision” for scanning everyday objects advertisements. It offers up videos or online shops from companies that have built these extras for the app.

The company also has a product called kitude aces, which much like yar will float an icon above the direction of a place that the app thinks you should check out. It finds restaurants, hotels, places to shop. But kitude aces is a “Sony Select app” only available for those with a Sony phone.

kitude (Free)

Field Trip
Field Trip app

FieldTrip is a pretty neat app for exploring surroundings when travelling. It runs in the background then alerts you when interesting or out-of-the-way spots are nearby with a series of cards. It’s made by ‘s Niantic bs (whose other product is the “play in the real world” game Ingress).

You can create your own virtual field trips by marking locales saving where you went inside of the app. It can be somewhat of a battery drain if you allow it to aggressively offer local details, so it may be worth adjusting this feature to ensure you can actually use the app through the duration of a trip.

Field Trip (Free)

tourist eye app

TouristEye is useful if you want to diversify the source of your travel recommendations beyond the behemoths of Yelp. It is now under the nely anet banner, so it uses content from the company’s reviews travel experts to suggest hip cool things to do both in cities the out-of-doors.

TouristEye (Free)

aurasma app

Aurasma differentiates itself from the crowd in enabling you to create your own augmented reality images. You can pull in your own photos add in other objects to make some clever creations.

Find other content built by Aurasma by looking for its image in books, magazines, or posters. Of course you’ll do this while also looking for all the other app icons QR codes that are competing for the attention of your augmented reality apps.

Aurasma (Free)