Developing Augmented Reality (AR) apps for iOS: Key Things to Know

No other mobile platform has given so much importance to Augmented Reality (AR) technology as the Apple iOS platform. iOS has been at the forefront of AR development, and the outcome such as the ARKit is the natural outcome of the company’s continuous focus in turning AR big for the iOS user experience. As a result, AR-based apps continued to deliver fiscal benefits to Apple besides creating a futuristic ecosystem of gadgets and apps. 

Naturally, as an aspiring AR developer, if you want to target iOS, there cannot be a better time. While the pervasive and era-defining power of AR apps is too well known, iOS as a platform is all set to allow you to get the best of this platform with its ARKit. So, do you want to create an iOS app with AR technology that instantly starts pouring businesses? Well, here we are going to explain some fundamentals regarding this.

AR app and Virtual Shopping Experience

When a customer wants to buy a new pair of sunglasses without knowing how it will look on his face, AR can come to his aid. All he needs is to upload his latest photo and see different sunglasses adorning his face on the picture. That’s how AR-based shopping simplifies and virtualizes the entire shopping experience.

Already we have several such 3D apps allowing customers to try different sunglasses in their virtual faces. There are also apps to try different fashion garments virtually on the body shown on screen. Facebook and several other companies are also working on digital glass projects that will allow users to project the digital images in reality. So, if you hire developers from India, there are good chances that you can finish your AR app project at a surprisingly low rate. 

The business potential of such innovative AR apps is huge. Naturally, you can decide to build your AR app targeting more streamlined and continuous business conversion and superior shopping experience. You are quite justified in developing your first AR app for the iOS platform at first. But where to begin? Well, this is precisely why we are here to help you with all the basic requirements and critical things to know. 

Introducing Apple ARKit

ARKit is Apple’s answer to the increasingly popular Augmented Reality technology to help iOS developers build sophisticated AR apps for the platform’s users. The core capability of the ARKit is to allow users to release different objects right into the environment and then allow them to manipulate the objects through a touchscreen. 

The key idea is to help users keep track of their objects while they move with the device. Thus presents the simplest way to shatter the strict sense of physical reality and its divide with the virtual one.

How ARKit helps developers to build the most sophisticated AR apps? What are the key advantages of the ARKit SDK? Well, here we are going to explain.

  • ARKit based apps can run on all Apple iPhone and iPad devices loaded with iOS 11 and all devices having A11, A10, or A9 chipset. Naturally, for AR developers working on the iOS platform, this translates to huge market potential. 
  • ARKit, by using Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO), can easily track the environment and easily place a variety of virtual objects on the screen view with optimum accuracy. For achieving such precision, it doesn’t need any calibration. Basically, VIO works by dealing with multiple sensors to detect the device location, the camera, accelerometer, and gyroscope. 
  • The augmented reality SDK offered by Apple already comes with advanced abilities to analyze scenes and different horizontal planes to place the virtual objects easily on a surface. ARKit, by estimating the proportion of light for each particular scene, can adjust the light for the virtual appearance of the object. 
  • Starting from the iPhone X, ARKit also offers breakthrough face detection or face tracking abilities. iPhone X comes with sensors that can easily detect a user’s facial expression, and the same expression can be stored in the memory for future tracking purposes. 
  • On top of all these, the performance of ARKit can also be enhanced by a variety of third-party tools like Unity and Unreal Engine. Thanks to these tools, developers are now able to create forceful virtual objects involving advanced graphics.

From all the qualities and attributes that we have mentioned so far, Apple’s ARKit allows developers to create immersive and advanced augmented reality experiences for the apps.

AR App Development Prerequisites with ARKit

For developing AR-based apps with ARKit, developers need to have a MacBook along with Xcode 9 or a later version. Apart from that, ARKit also needs the A9 or more advanced or latest processors to carry out various computing tasks in real-time. Apart from that, for easy testing of the AR app in the target device, you need to have an iPhone running iOS 11 or later.

Market Research Responsibilities 

For AR app development by using ARKit, development companies also need to carry out in-depth market research. They should check all such applications that are available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. One needs to see the key features; the user experience attributes and the shortcomings that can be further improved.

The developers also need to check the app performance, the UI/UX design of the apps, the loading speed, user experience feedback, and reviews and ratings. Such detailed exposure will give you a comprehensive idea about building your AR app and improving it based upon the shortcomings of other apps in the market. When it comes to getting feedback about the existing AR apps and how you can offer an improved experience, don’t shy away from the opinions of friends, colleagues, coworkers, and industry people.  


As the final piece of advice, we must suggest you getting onboard an expert iOS development company with sufficient exposure to similar AR app projects. Remember, from choosing the tech stack to embracing the right development approach, you need to be meticulous, and a seasoned development company can make things easier for you. 


We monitors and writes about new technologies in areas such as technology, innovation, digitization, space, Earth, IT and AI.

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