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Best augmented reality (AR) apps for Android

June 12, 2012

Augmented reality (AR) is a view of a real and physical image with some of its elements modified by computer generated effects, resulting in an enhanced perception of the real-time image. A perfect sample of augmented reality is the virtual score board while watching your basketball game.

Google’s Project Glass is said to introduce augmented reality to its users. By just using the glasses, you can see your Facebook status, Twitter updates, maps, and a lot more running in the background of your physical environment.

Augmented reality has also been integrated in apps on your Android device. By using your phone’s GPS, camera, and other sensors, you can view your surroundings with the added simulation of augmented objects.

In this app list, we will be talking about some of the best augmented reality (AR) apps for your Android device.

Look beyond what meets the eye. Reveal the hidden digital information in your surroundings with the Layar app on your Android device. This app lets you view digital information called “layer” right on your device’s screen. Make your Android device an extension of your eyes and be surprised with what you can find.

You can use this app to scan everything around you–restaurant menus, grocery products, magazine, posters, billboards, hotels, business establishments, and a lot more. Look around and you will be surprised to see digital information hiding around the corner. With this app, you can instantly get market links, product prices, digital posters, and a lot more. The new and updated Layar can also let you view videos directly from augmented reality.

You can also create your own layers by using the Layar Creator. You can get it by signing up at

Download the Layar app for free from the Google Play Store and view the world from a different dimension.

Most Android phones can be used as maps to navigate while driving, but do you know that your Android phone can also keep you safe on the road? Introducing your road guardian, iOnRoad Augmented Driving Lite. This app utilizes the phone’s front camera, GPS, and sensors to keep you safe on the road.

Primarily, the app monitors and keeps watch of your car’s distance from other drivers, making your Android device a collision warning device. While driving, the app shows you warning signals in colors. Green is when you are a safe distance from another car. If you are getting closer, the app will show a yellow sign.

When you are in the danger zone, the app will pop out a red warning sign and will tell you to slow down. This app also lets you stay on the road by sending off an alarm if you are drifting off the road. You can also see you car speed and set the app to tell you if you have reached the speed limit.

Be safe while driving with iOnRoad Augmented Driving Lite.

If you have an online encyclopedia on your desktop and mobile phones, you also have one that shares information in augmented reality. Featuring the Wikitude World Browser for your Android device. This app lets you view additional information about places by just looking at them on your phone’s screen.

If you are looking for a place to stay, or you don’t know which restaurant to eat at, just open the Wikitude app and scan your surroundings. You will see augmented reality content right on your phone’s screen. This app will show your places that you can stay at, restaurants to fill your tummy, special hotel offers, and a lot more.

You can also view your friend’s geotagged contents through this app. Also get to follow the blue bird and get your friends’ Twitter updates about the place itself.

If your favorite Japanese restaurant doesn’t have augmented content yet, worry no more for the app can let you add your own augmented content and share it with the whole world. You can also enjoy augmented games such as Bubble Tap, Swat The Fly, and Spice Attack.

Download the Wikitube World Browser and unlock a hidden world right on your Android device. 

If you’re touring a new place and you need a guide to help you out, you should ask the help of Yelp to guide you around. This app will help you to find local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, gasoline stations, and many more.

The app also has an augmented reality feature that overlays business information near you. Just tap the Monocle button from the app’s main menu and scan your surroundings. You will see an overlay of local businesses on your phone’s screen. Tapping the overlay will direct you to an info page with star ratings and user reviews. You can also add your own review and add a star rating for a business establishment.

Ask the help of Yelp and you will never run out of places to find.

Most Android devices use Google Maps to navigate their way through town. But, if you want to navigate using augmented reality, use the AugSatNav on your Android device.

This app doesn’t use any map to help you navigate. Instead, it will base its navigation on the actual pathway seen by your phone’s camera. The image is also highlighted with a white light so you will be guided where to go. If you need to take a turn, the app also displays an arrow of the direction you need to take. This app is perfect for asking directions while walking or going on a trip in your car.

Use the AugSatNav and navigate to places like a pro.

An Android smartphone is an ideal tool for travelers because all sort of tools can be pack on this portable device–we have maps, navigation apps, local business finder apps, and many more. A compass is also one of the essential tools for travelers and explorers. This tool can be used for pointing to the right direction. The 3D Compass+ (AR Compass) app is your augmented reality compass app on your mobile phone.

The app primarily works as a compass on your mobile phone. Using the phone’s camera, the app displays the actual image of where you are going with an augmented compass on top of it. You can also change the compass into a Rose Compass, Marine Compass, and Artificial Vertical Compass. The app also utilizes your phone’s GPS and displays the map on the screen, making your phone an excellent navigation tool. The address of your location is also displayed in the app. You can also change the phone’s brightness directly from this app.

Make your Android phone as an ultimate navigation tool with 3D Compass+ (AR Compass).

The Augment app lets you view your own cubic objects such as paintings, cellphones, huge boxes, aquarium, big screen LCD screen, a computer, and many more. Surprise your guests with augmented paintings and furniture in your living room. You may even fill your room with augmented objects.

In order to use this app, you will first need to acquire a marker. A marker is a piece of paper with black and white markings. This is used to display the augmented object on your mobile phone’s screen. You can print a copy of your own marker at

Once you have your markers, you can then view augmented objects. You can visit the app’s gallery and use objects created by other users. You can also make your own cubic augmented object. See the tutorial video below for a guide on how to create your own augmented object.

With a countless number of stars in the night sky, it is sometimes hard to find your favorite stars. You may even mistake a planet for a star. To help you with that problem, we have the Sky Map app to help you identify these shiny objects in the night sky.

The app utilizes your phone’s GPS and sensors to show you the exact stars in your location. If you find a shiny star in the sky, just open the Sky Map and point it in the direction of the star. The app will show you the name of the star you are looking at. This app transforms the night sky into a detailed and informative map of stars. You can also search for a star or a planet with this app. Just go to the search option and the app will point you to the star or planet you are looking for.

Find your favorite star with the Sky Map app on your Android device.

If you are working for NASA, or you just want to monitor the satellites flying over the planet, you might want to install the Satellite AR on your Android device. This app lets you visually see which satellites are flying over you.

You can search any type of satellite with this app–GPS satellite, weather satellite, Search and Rescue satellite, and many more. Just select the satellite you want to locate and the app will do the rest. The app will display the location of a the satellite depending on your current location. You can also tap the satellite to know more about it. You will be able to know who built that satellite, when it was launched, its function, where it will pass, and many more.

Get to know the satellites with Satellite AR on your Android device.

There are a variety of methods for searching for something on your Android device. You can either type the keywords on the search box, or you can speak it directly to your device. You can also take a picture of something and learn more about it by using Google Goggles on your Android devices.

Take a photo of a book and the app will let you know the author, title, and some extra information about the book. You can also scan business cards and the app will display the contact information for you. Scan a painting and the app will display the artist and the brief description of the painting. You can also select the Continuous option to continuously scan objects. With this option you can scan objects, landmarks, and many more without having to take pictures.

Wear the smartest goggles and get to learn everything with the Google Goggles app.

Although they are not real, augmented objects give us additional information such as overlaying 3D information on maps, posters, magazines, and pictures. Augmented apps can also be used as tools such as a compass, collision warning tool, and a lot more. With these apps, we learn to see the world from a different angle.

Besides the apps mentioned above, what augmented reality (AR) apps are you using on your Android device? Share them in the comment below.