Video: iPhone X vs Galaxy S9+ AR Gaming -- ARKit vs ARCore

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 20
Apple's ARKit made a public debut at WWDC 2017 and was later released with iOS 11, enabling any iOS device with an A9 or newer processor to run augmented reality games and apps. Like clockwork, Google introduced a competing product in ARCore for devices running Android. We take a closer at the respective AR platforms in this video.





Two more months after Google's announcement of ARCore, Samsung promised hardware compatibility with the framework. Those capabilities have been a long time coming; Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were released in March, but they didn't get ARCore support until the middle of May.

With Samsung's flagship smartphone now able to run ARCore apps, we decided it was time to compare Google's AR system with that of Apple's, as running on iPhone X.

To get a better look at the differences and similarities between the two platforms, we initially planned on comparing a number of AR apps that provide cross-platform support. This would ensure an even playing field and offer a more accurate representation of how developers are handling and integrating each technology, from surface tracking to graphics quality.

Unfortunately, Samsung's Galaxy S9 Plus was in many cases unable to recognize an anchor point (our desk) for AR tracking. Whether the problem is with Samsung's hardware or Google's software is unknown, but for the purposes of this comparison, the shortcoming forced us to look at ARCore-specific apps that worked.




AR Insect Invaders:

On iOS, the iPhone X instantly recognized the surface we selected and accurately tracked it. After placing the plate of sushi, it didn't move at all in respect to the table. Tracking continued to work perfectly and it offered a great gaming experience.

On the S9 Plus, the app recognized the surface, but the graphics seemed to bend while we moved the camera around. After placing the plate, it started to jitter and wobble around. Shortly after that, it completely lost track of where it was placed. The game never regained tracking and was completely unplayable.

IKEA Place:

Again, the iPhone X did a great job of tracking the desk and the objects we placed on it stayed put. We could easily change angles and get close for a detailed look at the furniture.

The S9 Plus took a very long time to recognize the desk, and when it did, the objects failed to appear at all after multiple tries.

Kings of Pool:

The iPhone X handled this game perfectly. There was no gap under the pool table, it looked like it was sitting right on top of the desk. The tracking was amazing, it didn't move an inch from the spot we placed it. The gaming experience was really fun and accurate.

The S9 Plus, on the other hand, couldn't even recognize the surface of the desk.




Thomas & Friends Minis:

This is a great game for kids. You can build tracks and view them in AR. The iPhone X did a great job on this one as well. The best part is that ARKit has spatial sound, so when I would get closer to certain areas of the track, sounds from those areas would get louder.

The S9 Plus again failed to scan the desk.

Stack AR:

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone X scanned and recognized the surface instantly. The game was enjoyable and easy to play.

The S9 plus again failed to scan the desk.

Leo AR Camera:

The S9 Plus was finally able to scan and recognize our desk, but when we placed an object, it drifted away. This happened with every single object we placed.

Jenga AR:

This game is exclusive to the Google Play Store. We actually searched ARCore to find this one. This was the first game that worked as intended. The tracking was perfect, and the lighting was great. Gameplay was very smooth.

ARCoreMeasure:

This app is also exclusive to the Google Play Store, and it worked surprisingly well. The measurements seemed accurate and none of the objects drifted.

Atom Visualizer:

Here's another Android exclusive. This one worked perfectly. It seems like cross-platform games and apps aren't supported at this time. Everything we've tried so far that's exclusive to the Google Play Store works great.


Conclusion:

The S9 Plus had trouble with almost every game and app we tested, especially cross-platform titles. In most cases, it wouldn't even scan our large desk. The iPhone X scanned the same surface every single time, almost instantly.

In the cases where the S9 Plus did scan the table, the tracking would fail completely. There were only one or two games that would actually work correctly, but when ARCore did work, it worked great. Tracking, shadows and lighting were on point.

We're not sure why the Samsung had so much trouble with the games and apps we tested. Samsung's system software, ARCore, and each game was up to date. Since the S9 Plus is supposed to support ARCore, and all of these games are available to download on the Google Play Store, there's no reason why the AR experience should be this bad.
watto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,059member
    3... 2.... 1....

    but it you weren’t using the S9 correctly. Google and Samsung are far more innovative and capable than Apple. /s
    macxpresslkruppgregg thurmanmejsricredgeminipacornchipjbdragonlordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 29
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,244member
    And this is precisely why no one pays for Android apps.  I’m actually surprised the app developers would even bother to spend resources making such garbage for Android.

    I’d rather make an app that runs as advertised for iOS exclusively than to port it to Android and work like a giant turd.
    lkruppericthehalfbeegregg thurmanmejsricclaire1macseekerredgeminipacornchipjbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 3 of 29
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,403member
    sflocal said:
    And this is precisely why no one pays for Android apps.  I’m actually surprised the app developers would even bother to spend resources making such garbage for Android.

    I’d rather make an app that runs as advertised for iOS exclusively than to port it to Android and work like a giant turd.
    But there’s a developer union now who is petitioning Apple to allow trial periods for their giant turd apps.
    tmaymwhiteclaire1bb-15watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 29
    KITAKITA Posts: 140member
    I wonder if this is an ARCore issue or an S9 implementation issue.

    I've seen some ARCore apps on a Pixel 2 and it worked quite well.
    muthuk_vanalingamdudercommentsbb-15
  • Reply 5 of 29
    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    Google in contrast has recently demonstrated more vision and capabilities on how to utilize augmented reality in their ecosystem in a meaningful way.

    I hope I’m proven wrong in June and Apple amazes me, but for now they have been caught up on the SaaS side on many levels and they’ll have a hard time catching up.
    blastdoor
  • Reply 6 of 29
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,734member
    I expected the iPhone X to perform better, but the S9 is simply pathetic.
    redgeminipajbdragonlordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,257member

    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    When introducing amazing new technology Apple should always release it with a killer app to prove it is amazing. Also, work with developers to make sure there are a heap of killer apps in short order.  Over and over again Apple just release something cool and then there is no follow up, so it just withers.
    The touchbar is another recent example.

    CheeseFreezeclaire1blastdoorjony0
  • Reply 8 of 29
    lkrupp said:
    sflocal said:
    And this is precisely why no one pays for Android apps.  I’m actually surprised the app developers would even bother to spend resources making such garbage for Android.

    I’d rather make an app that runs as advertised for iOS exclusively than to port it to Android and work like a giant turd.
    But there’s a developer union now who is petitioning Apple to allow trial periods for their giant turd apps.
    We don’t know that these apps are turds. Allowing trial periods would seem a win/win for everyone. Don’t understand why Apple doesn’t allow trials.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Samedung is pathetic. Their horrible hardware is fatally crippled by Google's stolen OS.

    Apple products just work.

    claire1jbdragonlordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    entropys said:

    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    When introducing amazing new technology Apple should always release it with a killer app to prove it is amazing. Also, work with developers to make sure there are a heap of killer apps in short order.  Over and over again Apple just release something cool and then there is no follow up, so it just withers.
    The touchbar is another recent example.

    I totally agree. Technology is just an instrument, a means to an end. If there is no ‘end’, technology is useless.

    3D touch is another thing... it’s been totally gimmicky and they haven’t convinced the end user of any real use for it, other than app icon shortcuts. Removing it makes the interface more simple and production cheaper.
    edited May 19
  • Reply 11 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    entropys said:
    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    When introducing amazing new technology Apple should always release it with a killer app to prove it is amazing. Also, work with developers to make sure there are a heap of killer apps in short order.  Over and over again Apple just release something cool and then there is no follow up, so it just withers.
    The touchbar is another recent example.
    I totally agree. Technology is just an instrument, a means to an end. If there is no ‘end’, technology is useless.

    3D touch is another thing... it’s been totally gimmicky and they haven’t convinced the end user of any real use for it, other than app icon shortcuts. Removing it makes the interface more simple and production cheaper.
    I use it all the time to move the cursor around within a text field. I can't imagine having to go back to the old way of editing a text window.
    edited May 20 claire1redgeminipajbdragonbb-15holysmokeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 29
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,049member
    Ok  the S9 and Android are sh!te, but the S9 has more RAM, so lets call it even.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,283member
    Ok  the S9 and Android are sh!te, but the S9 has more RAM, so lets call it even.

    I'm hoping you forgot to type the /s. More RAM is nice, but more efficiency trumps it. If an operating system can do more with less resources, isn't that a great achievement? It's been proven that iOS excels with that. The problem with adding more RAM just to boost spec bravado is that developers are lazy and won't bother to optimize for a small memory footprint, and then we just end up with slow, bloated apps anyway.
    edited May 20 redgeminipamejsricjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 29
    entropys said:

    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    When introducing amazing new technology Apple should always release it with a killer app to prove it is amazing. Also, work with developers to make sure there are a heap of killer apps in short order.  Over and over again Apple just release something cool and then there is no follow up, so it just withers.
    The touchbar is another recent example.

    I totally agree. Technology is just an instrument, a means to an end. If there is no ‘end’, technology is useless.

    3D touch is another thing... it’s been totally gimmicky and they haven’t convinced the end user of any real use for it, other than app icon shortcuts. Removing it makes the interface more simple and production cheaper.
    While I admit I haven't used it much since its inception, I now use it quite often on my X, especially for accessing the flashlight and camera from the lock screen. Same for clearing notifications, or getting quick access to reply to messages that pop up when I'm working on something else. It's also handy for peaking at emails without opening them.

    Apple has a history of creating features that the full potentials aren't realized for quite some time, as they are working on future devices that take advantage of said features. 
    holysmokeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 29
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    entropys said:

    Technology aside, Apple has been strangely quiet on how augmented reality can be practical. They just leave it to external devs. Almost everything has been gimmicky stuff as of now. 

    When introducing amazing new technology Apple should always release it with a killer app to prove it is amazing. Also, work with developers to make sure there are a heap of killer apps in short order.  Over and over again Apple just release something cool and then there is no follow up, so it just withers.
    The touchbar is another recent example.

    I think “over and over” is an exaggeration, but I think your description of AR right now is mostly on target.

    i think the issue might be that the iPhone is just the wrong platform for AR. The technology will eventually advance to a point where good AR glasses are feasible. That’s when AR takes off. Apple seems to be using their customers as beta testers for software that will eventually show up in that platform 
    Soli
  • Reply 16 of 29
    mejsricmejsric Posts: 131member
    Ill show this if someone wants compare.  :p
  • Reply 17 of 29
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 112member
    KITA said:
    I wonder if this is an ARCore issue or an S9 implementation issue.

    I've seen some ARCore apps on a Pixel 2 and it worked quite well.

    Yes, we did some direct comparison at work for a customer and my colleague's conclusion was that ARCore actually performed better. But he used iP X and a P2 as well, so this might be a Samsung issue.
    In the end the comparison didn't matter as ARCore is cross platform, ARKit is iOS only.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    rattlhedrattlhed Posts: 104member
    I totally agree. Technology is just an instrument, a means to an end. If there is no ‘end’, technology is useless.

    3D touch is another thing... it’s been totally gimmicky and they haven’t convinced the end user of any real use for it, other than app icon shortcuts. Removing it makes the interface more simple and production cheaper.
    I think 3D touch for keyboard text editing is invaluable.  So easy to hard press and scroll the cursor back to fix a typo earlier in a sentence.  That alone is the killer app and substantiates the technology for me.  They should just promote it more.  I've talked to so many people with iPhones that support 3D touch that have no idea of this feature.  When I show them they're blown away.  They put a lot of R&D into this tech they should promote the hell out of it.  

    As for AR, I have yet to use a single app on my X that uses it.  Seems like a huge waste.  If someone were to show me a practical AR app that I would fine useful I'd be all over it, but I'm not going to download a silly pool game just to use it.  
    holysmokeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 29
    dudercommentsdudercomments Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    My Google Pixel 2 has zero issues tracking like the S9. Maybe you should have actually used a phone from the same makers of the OS and ARCore just like you did for Apple in this comparison. Weak.
    steven n. said:
    3... 2.... 1....

    but it you weren’t using the S9 correctly. Google and Samsung are far more innovative and capable than Apple. /s
    None of this would have happened with a Pixel 2 which would have been an actual good compariosn.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    My Google Pixel 2 has zero issues tracking like the S9. Maybe you should have actually used a phone from the same makers of the OS and ARCore just like you did for Apple in this comparison. Weak.
    steven n. said:
    3... 2.... 1....

    but it you weren’t using the S9 correctly. Google and Samsung are far more innovative and capable than Apple. /s
    None of this would have happened with a Pixel 2 which would have been an actual good compariosn.
    It sure would be great to see a video that demonstrates and backs up your comment.
    cornchipjbdragonwatto_cobra
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