Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 UTC


Last week, Apple released its so far most powerful AR device — the new iPad Pro with LiDAR Scanner. This technology measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds, bringing Apple’s AR possibilities to a whole new level. Apps that use ARKit automatically get instant AR placement, improved motion capture, and people occlusion.
Some developers have already shared their ideas on how they will use LiDAR Scanner. Live Home 3D and Shapr3D will automatically generate an accurate 2D floor plan and 3D model of a room, Complete Anatomy will introduce a new mobility assessment tool, IKEA Place will go beyond placing individual furniture and start furnishing entire rooms intelligently in AR, Hot Lava will transform your living room into a lava-filled obstacle course.
Also last week, on March 19, it was 2.5 years since Apple released ARKit (September 19, 2017), the revolutionary technology that allows mobile developers to easily use augmented reality in their apps.
I decided to find out what is the current number of AR apps and how it changed during the last 2.5 years, as well as analyze existing AR apps. For my report, I used Appfigures Explorer, which provides all the info I needed.

AR apps released after ARKit launch

image source: Appfigures
To collect the data, I searched for iOS App Store apps that have the ‘AR’ keyword in their name, description or release notes.
To find out how many apps were released after the ARKit launch, I set the release date to no earlier than September 19, 2017. The number returned was 14,294.

How this number compares to earlier data

Augmented reality apps have existed on the App Store since its initial launch in 2008. To find out the number of AR apps released during the first 9 years, I limited the release date to no later than September 18, 2017.
The number of AR apps in the App Store reached 17,440. The total number of iOS apps released by then was 4,811,252, so only 0.4% of all apps used augmented reality features.
In the following 2.5 years, iOS developers released 1,207,779 apps, which means 14,295 that offer AR features make 1.2% of all newly released apps.
To see the complete picture, I made a graph that illustrates the yearly change over time.
data source: Appfigures
The graph above illustrates the number of AR apps was growing between July 2008 and July 2019. It may be seen that from 2008 to 2016 the number of AR apps rose steadily, and from 2017 we can see a steep upward trend with numbers growing by more than 5,000 a year and reaching 27,803 in July 2019.

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AR apps available now analysis

Until now, I was analyzing the total numbers of apps that were released, but of course, not all of them are active now.
On March 19, 2019, the total number of AR apps ever released on the App Store reached 31,731, however, only 17,522 are currently available in the App Store, 14,291 were updated since ARKit release, which means it is likely they integrated ARKit.
The following pie and donut charts describe AR apps monetization.
data source: Appfigures
Data source:
The pie chart above shows that 6% (861) of AR apps are paid and 94% (11,872) of AR apps are free, 11% (1,558) of the latter offer in-app purchases.
data source: Appfigures
From the donut chart above, we can see that the price of 93% (804) of paid AR apps ranges from $1 to $10, 6% (52) ranges from $10 to $50 and only 1% (5) of AR apps cost more than 50%
And finally, two following column charts show how AR apps have been ranked during the last 30 days.
data source: Appfigures
The chart shows that 0.15% (21) of AR all apps have been ranked Overall Top 1, 0.57% (82) have been ranked Top 10, 2.32% (332) have been ranked Top 100 and 7.97% (1,139) have been ranked Top 1000.
data source: Appfigures
The chart shows that 1.34% (191) of AR all apps have been ranked Overall Top 1, 4.84% (691) have been ranked Top 10, 14.73% (2,105) have been ranked Top 100 and 38.86% (5,553) have been ranked Top 1000.


During the last 2.5 years, developers released 14,295 AR apps. The number of AR apps that are currently available and have been updated after the ARKit release is 14,291. The vast majority of AR apps (94%) are free to download and 83% don’t offer in-app purchases. Most paid AR apps (93%) cost under $10 and less than 1% have a price higher than $50. In the last 30 days, almost 40% of all available AR apps have been ranked in Top 1000 in their categories and 8% in Overall Top 1000, while 13 per 1,000 has been ranked Number 1 in their category, 1 per 1,000 has been ranked Overall Top 1.

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AR Apps on iOS after 2.5 Years of ARKit was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.