At the recent Google I/O developer conference, the company made a number of big announcements. One of the most interesting announcements out of the lot came in the form of an ARCore update, which brings a ton of new functionalities to Google’s augmented reality platform for developers.

In a blog post regarding the matter, Anuj Gosalia, director of engineering AR at Google, wrote:

“As announced today at Google I/O, we’re rolling out a major update to ARCore to help developers build more collaborative and immersive augmented reality apps.”

The update brings a variety of new features to the augmented reality app development platform, including:

  • Shared AR Experiences– With the update, developers will be able to create shared augmented reality experiences which will allow users to interact with each other using AR applications on their devices. In order to facilitate these new collaborative experiences, Google has introduced a new capability called Cloud Anchors. The capability will allow developers to create apps that allow users to redecorate their homes, play games, or paint a community mural along with their friends. The shared AR experiences will come with cross-platform support for both iOS and Android devices.

  • AR all around you– Previously, ARCore apps only allowed users to place augmented reality objects on horizontal surfaces, like a table or on the floor. However, the ARCore update also introduces support for Vertical Plane Detection which will allow users to place augmented reality objects on vertical surfaces like walls. Additionally, a capability called Augmented Images will also allow users to bring still images to life by just pointing their smartphone’s camera at them.

  • Faster AR development– The ARCore update also brings support for Sceneform, which allows Java developers to build immersive 3D apps, without requiring them to learn complicated APIs like OpenGL. The feature will not only allow developers to create new AR apps from scratch but will also allow them to add AR components to existing apps.