Until today, Google’s augmented reality developer platform, ARCore, was available only on Pixel / Nexus devices and a select few handsets from brands like Asus, Huawei, LG, Moto, and Sony. But an update to the list of supported devices, spotted by 9to5Google today, now shows ARCore support for Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
Prior to the update, ARCore-optimized apps could only run on Samsung devices in the midrange A series and on the S7, S7 Edge, S8, and S8 Plus. Effectively, ARCore makes it easier for developers to make use of the smartphone’s blend of hardware and software to create more immersive and realistic AR applications. Without ARCore support, AR apps won’t run on phones as well as they could with Google’s optimization tools.
While Apple’s competing ARKit platform made a big splash with a launch last year, Google’s ARCore has only been out of beta since February. At the time, Google made ARCore available for Samsung’s flagship phones at the time, which happened to be devices in the S8 line, alongside its own devices and a handful of other top-tier phones. Though the S9 has been out since March, it’s been notably absent from the ARCore list for more than two months. Given that a better processor and more memory can only help AR apps run smoother, it was a bit puzzling to see the S9 excluded, but thankfully S9 owners can now join in on the AR fun.