Developer Use of Apple's ARKit Framework Has Slowed Since September Launch

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's ARKit augmented reality framework has seen only modest adoption from developers since it was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference, while growth has seen a steady decline since its official launch, according to App Store data gathered by Apptopia.

    ARKit enables iPhones and iPads running iOS 11 to superimpose computer-generated graphics over the real world, allowing developers to take their apps beyond the screen and into the user's environment.

    By using the built-in camera, processors, and motion sensors found in iOS devices, virtual content appears on top of real-world scenes, and users don't need any special equipment to enjoy them because ARKit does the heavy lifting.


    But despite initial excitement over the technology and a general consensus that Apple has improved upon existing AR solutions like Google Tango by making ARKit simpler to use, take-up by iOS developers saw a steady decline in the second half of 2017.

    In ARKit's launch month of September, developers released approximately 300 ARKit-related apps, while October saw an additional 200 or so enter the App Store, according to third-party data provider Apptopia. However, in November the number of ARKit-based apps fell to about 156, before recovering somewhat to around 160 in December. Overall, ARKit is said to have been used in about 825 of the over 3 million apps in the App Store since its debut.


    As it stands, Apptopia reckons 30 percent of ARKit-using iOS apps fall into the games category, 13.2 percent are entertainment, and 7.5 percent are photo and video apps. Meanwhile, 11.9 percent are utilities, 7.8 percent are educational, and 5.2 percent are lifestyle apps, with the remaining 24.2 percent coming under the Other category.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his belief on several occasions that a big future lies ahead for augmented reality. In fact, Cook has said that he's so excited about the possibilities for the future of AR that he just wants to "yell out and scream", while admitting that there are limitations to the technology in its current state.

    At the same time, Cook believes that those limitations are the building blocks of an "incredible runway" with a bright future, and that "when people begin to see what's possible, it's going to get them very excited--like we are, like we've been".

    For a look at some of the first apps that implemented ARKit, check out this round-up.

    Article Link: Developer Use of Apple's ARKit Framework Has Slowed Since September Launch
  2. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    AR isn't a "Thing" until we get head mounted display tech. Pokemon Go is not enough to carry it!
  3. WalterTizzano macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2014
    Of course it has, currently it's little more than a gimmick. Maybe in the future it will be a big deal, but for that to happen it will need to rely on better sensors (currently cameras and accelerometers are not accurate enough for a good result) and the software will need to do more (maybe recognise also walls and not just horizontal surfaces). Sadly iOS 11 was a huge flop: practically no feature at all other than a lot of bugs and performance drops. Apple needs to focus more.
  4. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    Personally, AR isn't that useful to me aside from online shopping (furniture, clothes, glasses) and in building/renovating and home decor. And my use for AR in those circumstances is limited and sporadic. AR as it is right now through a phone/tablet isn't a compelling feature to me. But I do think Apple is building on something that will be more important in the future.
  5. Enygmatic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2015
    No killer app... battery drain... it's to be expected at this early juncture. It will get there, though.
  6. brian3uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2016
    Seems to be just another silly feature instead of anything truly game changing, or that useful. Apple is keen to give all these gimmicky things but continues to neglect pro users and lets product lines languish and die. SAD!
  7. coolkid93 macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2017
    Lehigh valley
    At this early stage I figured. It's not s big thing yet. Maybe future wise. Right now it's merely a "toy" in my opinion to play with.
  8. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    North and east of Mickeyland
    Maybe if Apple targeted the ability to use ARKit applications beyond the latest or last two hardware iterations, developers would have more incentive to develop ARKit apps. Not everyone insists on replacing their phone every 2 years. Short of that, the financial motivation is tied to how the number of A9 or later devices grows over the next couple of years.
  9. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    I have wondered if AR will ever be a thing. It seems to just be promoted as a thing like VR in the hopes that it might catch on. While 3D TV, for example, can be a wonderful experience it didn’t catch on. Some of it is limitation of technology, some is just how people want to consume entertainment, etc.
  10. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Gimmick flops shortly after release, More on this at 11
  11. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    AR holds the average person’s interest for about 25 seconds.

    Been there, done that. Move on.
  12. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    AR will be the BIGGEST THING but not until we have a non intrusive head mounted display. That could be 5 - 100 years away.
  13. neuropsychguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    It's not a gimmick and this isn't any indication of a flop. Most of the current apps are gimmicks but the framework isn't. It took years for really useful iOS apps to come out and will take years for AR apps to become useful.
  14. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    Possibly. It’s hard to make predictions 5+ years out. Something else could come up that sidetracks AR for a long time. Anyone’s guess.
  15. Rychiar macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2006
    Waterbury, CT
    I remember it being cool the first week I had it in September.... none of the apps worked all that great though and people on android had immitations that were just as good. I haven't even thought about it since
  16. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Not surprising. Happens with every new API and framework. People play around with it at first but only a smaller number will actually stick with it and keep developing around it.
  17. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    Has anyone produced an AR app that isn't just "look, we replaced the floor of our app with your own actual floor or other flat surface" ?
  18. PizzaBoxStyle macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2014
    Apple HQ Cupterino Spaceship
    IMO AR won't matter until we figure out holograms.
  19. PG(Austin) macrumors regular


    Sep 24, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Because there's not enough make-up companies wanting to show you what color lipstick you should buy based on how it virtually looks on you.
  20. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    AR requires more than a phone, since its awkward and clunky.

    AR on a phone is a solution looking for a problem, outside of games.

    Hardware and software needs to mature.
  21. NMBob macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2007
    New Mexico
    I guess everyone has figured out how it will look and where to place their furniture in their house and are waiting to move on. Next.

    "Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his belief on several occasions that a big future lies ahead for augmented reality."

    Ah...never mind.
  22. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2014
    Apple is grasping desperately these days. It’s becoming painfully clear they really now are not much more than a luxury brand with little added value relative to others, particularly at their rising prices.

    Cook’s made a significant fortune doing little more than managing a massive amount of cash and pushing foreign markets. If he knows what’s best for his reputation, he’ll retire this year.
  23. haydn! macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    I think this is to be expected isn’t it? Initially excitement as some developers jump on the “new thing” bandwagon and implement it quickly/poorly just to be first.

    The real magic happens 12 months onwards when developers have taken the time to really explore and push the possibilities.

    The same happened with the iOS app api in general. It took years before really great apps started to break through the countless tip calculators and 2D games.
  24. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I agree on the sensors. I was really surprised to find that Apple did nothing with the extra cameras on the 7+/8+/X for ARKit. It seemed like they could offer a mode with a depth map and simple occlusion (Being able to put something in front of an AR object and not have it move, or draw on top of the real world object.)

    Also, having only floor plane detection limited it a bit. Once they add built in vertical surface plane detection I think we will see an uptick in developers trying it out.
  25. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    The Pokemon Go CEO said it perfectly, no one wants to walk around with an device straight up their face. It makes u look like a fool like using siri in public

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