I’ve been working on an article for iphoneLife on and off about the best Augmented Reality application for the iphone. I have also been checking out Android AR apps as well.  And so far, there are very few good apps out there that do anything more then provide 3D search of sorts.  But, some apps are starting to appear that actually have some promise, so I thought I would post of the best I’ve seen so far and update as more apps get released.  For now, I have two lists, the iPhone, and Android.

{Note, there are not enough really good apps to make a full top 10 as of yet}

First, lets check out the iPhone

10. Car Finder Although there are many other AR apps like Car Finder, I have this as number 10 because its a good example of a simple 1 function AR app. Now can you get the same thing done using a standard map, yes, but most AR app are about cool then uniquely practical.
9. Wikitude There are SOOO many nearest search apps out there that I’m going to select Wikitude to represent them.  If someone thinks another local search/discovery app is better, let me know and why.
8. Yelp Although again, a local search/discovery type of app, I wanted to call it out because of the focus on food and its depth of data. There are others that are competing in this space as well, so we’ll see how long Yelp can keep this position.
7. Pocket Universe I have Pocket Universe at the 7 position because THIS is an AR map that a traditional 2D map simply cannot compete with. So on our top ten list, Pocket Universe is the first uniquely AR.
6. Layar 3.0 AT first glance, Layar is just like any other search/discovery app.. except for 1 thing.  You can view 3D objects, properly placed, in the scene graph.
5. Dish Pointer
I’m still not sure this should be a 5, I may move it higher, but its a really good use of AR. Basically use your camera to figure out where to point your satellite dish.
4. 3D on the iphone hack I was not really sure if I wanted to include this since its not really AR in its current form. However, image this hack but with a camera view. Since its already using the cameras for tracking items in the scene graph, this could be the sweets AR tool for programmers ever.
3. Parrot RC Helicoptor
You have to love it.  Fly your Parrot RC helicopter AND have a camera view AND it will recognize 2D barcodes (QR) that turn into objects you can shoot.  WIN
2. Golfscape
I will be the first to admit, I’m putting this on the list because I play golf.  Although I found this to be hit and miss, AND did not spend a lot of time tuning it, its pretty darn good example of AR really adding to your IRL experience. Points out distance, where a bunker is, remembering which club where on the course. Pretty cool. Its $20, but golfers are used to paying for things. 🙂
1. Word Lens
Word Lens, to us, is the best example of great use case and really great technical achievement. To translate a sign or simple text, in real time, ON THE ACTUAL SIGN, is pretty cool.   Right now its iphone only, and only Spanish.  Its $10 per language per direction, so it only makes sense in limited applications, but as more languages are added, I expect this to be a very cool tool.

Also notice I did not include Theodolite which is a HUD application.  I may change my mind later and include HUD apps, but for now, not included.

Also, a shout out for ARDefender.  Did not make the list.. but I may change my mind.

Still waiting for this to get into english:  http://support.sekaicamera.com/en/

AugSatNav 1.5 was not included because it still looks a bit rough, but keeping an eye on it.

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