Augmented reality is perhaps the most interesting and appealing technology that the human brain has designed in the last years. Also known as “enhanced reality”, this technology allows users to actually see reality differently via various tools such as smartphones or computers. In other words, real-world environment elements are augmented or enhanced by computer-generated input such as graphics, sound or GPS data.
We all remember the huge buzz created around Pokémon Go. This augmented reality game lets you chase virtual creatures, called Pokémons, in the real world. Although augmented reality is only at the beginning, there are already plenty of apps that allow you to literally dive into another reality.
Unfortunately, very few augmented reality apps support Windows 10 Mobile. The most diverse AR experience is available to iOS or Android users.
Best augmented reality apps for Windows 10 Mobile
Wikitude World Browser
Wikitude World Browser finds cool places and things allowing you to discover your surroundings in a completely new way. Using this app is very simple: hold up your smartphone and explore what’s around you in augmented reality.
Wikitude relies on content from Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, Starbucks and thousands more to find out what’s directly in your vicinity with the “Around Me” Tool. You can also specifically search for places you are interested in. For example, you’re looking for a book store. Simply type “book store” into Wikitude’s search box, hold up your phone and you’ll be able to see all the book stores around you.
Wikitude works even if you don’t have a built-in digital compass. With a compass, you will be AR enabled, but if you don’t have one, the app works great in list/map view as well.
Other features include:
- Find events, tweets, Wikipedia articles, ATMs, restaurants, user reviews and much more around you
- Browse more than 100 million places and interactive content from more than 3,500 content providers or so called “Worlds”
- Find mobile coupons and discounts for stores and shops near you.
You can download Wikitude World Browser for free from the Windows Store.
Spyglass allows you to create, download, manage and view targets and points of interest on your Windows 10 phone. The app offers three different views: augmented reality, map and list. You can also track targets in augmented reality, view and create your own targets by simply saving you current location.
Download the available points of interest around your current location from OpenStreetMap via Overpass API using the “What’s here?” function. Spyglass also supports geo URIs to share and import coordinates.
Here’s how Spyglass may be helpful:
- Find back to your hotel, car, some shop, landmark or any other place you want to return to
- Get more information about landmarks
- Discover interesting stuff around you when visiting foreign towns
- Find out where to get some good food and drinks.
You can download Spyglass for $2.99 from the Windows Store.
Yelp overlays business information in the world around you. If you’re looking for a particular place, a pub, a gas station, Yelp will quickly help you with that piece of information.
You can tap quick links to find nearby bars, restaurants, cafes and more and you can also narrow your searches by distance, price, and what’s open now. Yelp also allows you to look up addresses and phone numbers for thousands of businesses.
Although this app is now available for Windows 10 Mobile as well, it does have some limitations on Microsoft’s latest OS. Users cannot write reviews within the app, they cannot pin places to Start, and many criticize the app’s design.
If you’re interested, you can give it a try and test out Yelp Monocle. You can download the app for free from the Windows Store.
Pokémon GO is not an actual Windows Mobile app, it’s a third-party app that allows Windows 10 Mobile users to enjoy this popular augmented reality game.
The app is developed by ST-Apps. However, gamers will still need to make an account on an Android or iOS device, using Android or iOS emulators to be able to play the game. Side-loading will also be needed in order to install the app as it can’t be found on the Windows Store. For more information on how to side-load Pokémon GO on your Windows 10 Mobile phone, you can follow the steps listed in our dedicated article.
We’ll end our list here. If you’ve tested out other Windows 10 Mobile apps that we didn’t list in this article, you can tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.
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