Android users may get an official dark mode in a future update

Alyssa Bailey
February 24, 2018

According to Variety, the much awaited augmented reality technology (AR) for Android can be unveiled by Google in the coming week, on the occasion of the Mobile World Congress, taking place in Barcelona. ARCore 1.0 will debut alongside expanded developer support, with Google confirming it will now start accepting AR apps on the Play Store.

Keen Android users who've been following a somewhat obscure Google Issue Tracker thread from November of past year celebrated an exciting new development today.

The technology in ARCore now works on 100 million Android smartphones, all of which are newer flagship devices from Samsung, LG, and Google itself.

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ARCore, the tech giant's augmented reality (AR) software development kit (SDK) for Android, is out of preview and is now launching as version 1.0. Most importantly, Snapchat has been updated to leverage ARCore's flexible capabilities for integrating much more efficiently with phones. Even if Google isn't doing that, the company is known for providing foundational services that work across all devices (Search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps) and putting Lens in AR headsets from other companies makes a lot of sense as Google's long-term ambition. "Android Studio Beta now supports ARCore in the Emulator, so you can quickly test your app in a virtual environment right from your desktop".

Meanwhile, Google Lens, a feature that is now available Google Pixel devices and uses computer vision to quickly recognize objects, businesses, and other things around you, is said to release for both Google Assistant and Google Photos in the next few weeks. That's obviously just a small subset of all of the Android phones out there today, but Google says they did hit their target with that bunch of pushing ARCore onto 100 million phones at launch. Google Lens has tremendous potential to change the way we interact with our smartphones and we hope that it gets polished.

Lens in Google Photos will soon be available to all English-language users on both Android and iOS. The Google employee then also noted that the "engineering team has added this feature" and that it would be present "in a future Android release". This will allow features to use Lens features after a photo has been taken, the live functionality inside Google Assistant will be coming to some upcoming devices from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony, and HMD/Nokia. It uses image recognition algorithms to identify things like the breed of a dog or different kinds of plants.

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