Developer adoption of Apple's ARKit tepid after iOS 11 launch, data suggests

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Less than 1,000 apps on the App Store support Apple's augmented reality tools, and the number of apps adopting ARKit has slowed since September, a new survey has found.




The data was released on Wednesday by app market intelligence firm Apptopia, which found that the number of new apps with ARKit tools integrated fell sharply after debuting in September. The number hit a low in November before rebounding slightly in December, but still remains behind the adoption rate seen in October.

The data suggests that while some developers were keen to embrace ARKit at launch, interest in the new capabilities in iOS 11 has softened among app releases and updates.




In all, about 300 apps with ARKit were said to have debuted on the App Store in September, around the launch of iOS 11. The number fell to just over 200 in October, before approaching 150 in November. According to Apptopia, it rebounded to around 170 in December.

To date, in all, Apptopia says there are less than 1,000 apps with ARKit capabilities, of more than 3 million downloads available on the App Store.





Its data found that most -- 30 percent -- of ARKit apps are games. The next most popular app category was entertainment at 13.2 percent, followed by utilities with 11.9 percent. A large number of apps fell under an undefined "other" category, accounting for 24.2 percent of options.

Remaining uses are education (7.8 percent), photo and video (7.5 percent), and lifestyle (5.4 percent).




With this fall's launch of ARKit, and comments from Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook extolling the potential of the technology, the company's bullish outlook on augmented reality is well known. Cook said in late October that the iPhone maker is focused on making the customer experience with augmented reality second to none, trusting that revenue and profits will follow as technology and apps improve.

"I view AR as profound," Cook said. "Not today, not the app you'll see on the App Store today, but what it will be, what it can be. I think it's profound, and I think Apple is in a really unique position to lead in this area."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 240member
    I think this was kind of predictable: until Apple comes out with glasses that project the Augmentation directly in front of you, AR use cases strong enough to convince someone to hold a phone up for prolonged periods of time are pretty slim.

    There was an iOS AR application called Layar (sp?) as long back as 6 years ago.  It was actually pretty nifty: you'd hold up your phone at a street corner and it would point out where different shops/restaurants were in a distance (it might have even drawn arrows for directions - can't remember).  While pretty useful, you got tired pretty quickly holding up the phone while navigating to the points of interest.

    Once glasses debut, there will be tons of apps using ARKit - guaranteed.  The distribution of ARKit now was just to whet developer's appetites.
    mcdavejony0
  • Reply 2 of 27
    I’m not surprised at all by this. When I questioned the usefulness of most of the concept videos and apps I was told to be patient and “let developers figure it out”. I suppose we can still be waiting for developers but I’m not holding my breath. 

    I’ve said this before, while the tech is cool there’s a limited usefulness factor. All the games demoed “on” tables could be done just the same without having to look like it’s happening on a table. There’s no reason I have to be required to use the iPhone camera to pan around and zoom in or out of game play. That can happen just on the screen, no need for “AR”. 

    Smae art goes for that virtual tour of Apple Park. There is no reason Apple couldn’t let me download an app at home that lets me do all the same things without having to make a trip to Cupertino and point my camera at their model. 

    At this point it’s all a bunch of hype. As already mentioned, the useful stuff will likely work with HUD or glasses. The stuff that’s useful on the iPhone has mostly been around for years without ARKit. 
    mark fearingmuthuk_vanalingammcdaverattlheddysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 3 of 27
    I'm interested & have downloaded some AR apps when iOS 11 released but it just doesn't work very well. The "interest" part is not a problem.
    If I can have a measuring tape app that works well like what shown on Twitter I'd be happy.
    bloggerblogamarkap
  • Reply 4 of 27
    I’m not surprised at all by this. When I questioned the usefulness of most of the concept videos and apps I was told to be patient and “let developers figure it out”. I suppose we can still be waiting for developers but I’m not holding my breath. 

    I’ve said this before, while the tech is cool there’s a limited usefulness factor. All the games demoed “on” tables could be done just the same without having to look like it’s happening on a table. There’s no reason I have to be required to use the iPhone camera to pan around and zoom in or out of game play. That can happen just on the screen, no need for “AR”. 

    Smae art goes for that virtual tour of Apple Park. There is no reason Apple couldn’t let me download an app at home that lets me do all the same things without having to make a trip to Cupertino and point my camera at their model. 

    At this point it’s all a bunch of hype. As already mentioned, the useful stuff will likely work with HUD or glasses. The stuff that’s useful on the iPhone has mostly been around for years without ARKit. 
    Great points. The industry lives and dies on hype. There are folks out there raising lots of money and buying a lot of new cars for themselves because they are now 'VR or AR guys".  Setting up "VR" studio that will obviously never make a profit much less anything that broad numbers of the population will want, enjoy or care about. Of course it's mostly BS, but it pays the bills until the next thing. AR and VR have some small areas that the technology can enhance, and even full VR experiences are I think of limited appeal. I've seen a half dozen or so of the new VR storytelling experiences ETC. Not a one of them stayed with me in any way, or with anyone I've talked to. They are interesting 'tricks'. But I question any mass appeal.
    mcdavedysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 27
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    I don't think its hype, it's just needs some cool app, possibly a communication one, that hits the sweet spot.
    Apple's building for the future, 1000 apps is still a 1000 more than the competition and Apple can find out what works or not with that and correct.

    They'll add more and more features to ARkit until someone produces some app that does hit the spot.

    Fist you provide the canvas (they you provide the tools) ARKit, and then you provide the incentive to use this
    iqatedojony0
  • Reply 6 of 27
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,809member
    matrix077 said:
    I'm interested & have downloaded some AR apps when iOS 11 released but it just doesn't work very well. The "interest" part is not a problem.
    If I can have a measuring tape app that works well like what shown on Twitter I'd be happy.
    This ^^
    dysamoriajony0
  • Reply 7 of 27
    one could argue that social network adoption was tepid until friendster came around...
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Far too early to tell, I think. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 27

    I'm surprised they even found 1000 apps under any category in the App Store!

    I'm not even sure how to look for apps under a category after the Top 200 Paid and Free apps.

    edited January 2018 dysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 27
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,047member
    This was a big mistake on Apple’s part.  Until Glasses are released ARKit is a dud and they’ve shown their hand so have lost all advantage.  By the time Glasses are released the Google machine would have spun up again and Apple will have to be a runner up.

    This is a re-run of AppleTV - Cook said the future is Apps, he was wrong, now they’re scrambling to fold services in to the TV App which should have been mandatory from tvOS release.

    No Apple smash-hit was ever driven by 3rd party software even iPhone was released with 1st party only.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    mcdave said:
    This was a big mistake on Apple’s part.  Until Glasses are released ARKit is a dud and they’ve shown their hand so have lost all advantage.  By the time Glasses are released the Google machine would have spun up again and Apple will have to be a runner up.

    This is a re-run of AppleTV - Cook said the future is Apps, he was wrong, now they’re scrambling to fold services in to the TV App which should have been mandatory from tvOS release.

    No Apple smash-hit was ever driven by 3rd party software even iPhone was released with 1st party only.
    Release glasses before devs get used to your tools would be a mistake. That’s slways the hardest: getting devs on board. 

    if you wait till you release that product it is probably too late.

    théy’ll likely add to the capability of the kit integrating the sensors used by Face ID and even more by June 

    btw AppleTV was sold out during the last 3 months so don’ know wtf uou are talking about
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    BadhamBadham Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    It’s very simple, no one needs or wants AR or VR outside of a few obscure uses. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 27
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 749member
    until it comes to car windshields or glasses IMHO...
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Yeah...



    This tech was developed by Prime Sense who pioneered the Microsoft Xbox Kinect and was later acquired by Apple.

    This 3D sensing precedes Apple ARKit. It uses a PrimeSense camera (similar to FaceID) attached to the rear camera on an iPad.

    You can buy the camera for $350 and map rooms of a house (or business) and convert them into 3D CAD models.  The mapping process is just walking around and pointing the iPad to virtually Paint* surfaces -- similar to paint with a virtual roller.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    Badham said:
    It’s very simple, no one needs or wants AR or VR outside of a few obscure uses. 
    Unless you're a re-packaged Tekstud, in one incarnation or another, then der, you're probably new here. We normally try to present sarcasm in a humorous tone, to lighten the mood. Perhaps that was your best shot.

    Adoption can take time and suddenly feel inevitable. In the late 1970s, I worked with a technology described as an invention looking for an application. Today, it is one cornerstone of everyday life, even found in the iPhone X. Any ideas what it might be?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,921member
    The ruler gadget looked interesting. I had zero interest in anything else ever talked about with AR. The ruler measurement isn't apt to be accurate anyway, so...

    It just doesn't serve much of a purpose beyond the initial curiosity.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    19831983 Posts: 1,146member
    Not really surprised by this. Its a technology that just isn't all that compelling to most people. I've always thought AR to be a stopgap to VR which I do believe has a long term future if not anytime really soon. Once it connects directly to your brain and not via bulky headsets for your eyes and ears like it currently does, VR might finally take off.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Rayz2016 said:
    Far too early to tell, I think. 
    Agreed, we should give it at least 1 year, may be 2 years before writing it off as gimmick or not-so ground breaking. But one thing I would like to highlight - As soon as ARKit was released by Apple, many people remarked that Apple has delivered AR to 500+ million iPhones which are capable of running AR Apps, leaving Android phones far behind. And that Android is behind at least by 2 years to catch up and very few phones are capable of running the AR Apps. In hindsight, it does not seem accurate. It would take at least 2 years for many useful AR apps to show up, by which time MANY Android phones would have the capability to run AR apps.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    I’m in the “AR ain’t gonna happen** until there are AR glasses” camp.

    **In other words, until it's drop-dead easy to use and there are few, if any physical barriers to interactions.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 20 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Far too early to tell, I think. 
    Agreed, we should give it at least 1 year, may be 2 years before writing it off as gimmick or not-so ground breaking. But one thing I would like to highlight - As soon as ARKit was released by Apple, many people remarked that Apple has delivered AR to 500+ million iPhones which are capable of running AR Apps, leaving Android phones far behind. And that Android is behind at least by 2 years to catch up and very few phones are capable of running the AR Apps. In hindsight, it does not seem accurate. It would take at least 2 years for many useful AR apps to show up, by which time MANY Android phones would have the capability to run AR apps.
    Who the hell mentioned Android?
    watto_cobra
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