Apple took a headlong dive into augmented reality (AR) when it announced ARKit in iOS 11, giving developers a platform to create AR experiences for the iPhone and iPad. New data seems to suggest that leap is paying off.
Sensor Tower, an app insights firm, found (opens in new tab) that more than 13 million ARKit-only apps have been installed on iOS devices around the globe since ARKit launched on September 19, 2017.
Looking more closely at the kind of ARKit apps users installed, games runs away with the lead, accounting for 47% of installs. A distant second are apps in the Utilities category at 14%, followed by Entertainment at 12% and Lifestyle at 11%.
Utilities actually dropped 4% from Sensor Tower's first analysis in October 2017, while Lifestyle jumped 6% from its original position.
So, which ARKit-only apps are the most popular? AR Dragon (opens in new tab), a pet simulator that has you take care of a baby dragon, is the top free app. Measuring app CamToPlan Pro (opens in new tab), meanwhile, leads in both the Paid and Grossing categories.
You can see a breakdown of each category as well as other data from Sensor Tower in the charts below:
Sensor Tower kept its analysis to ARKit-only apps, or apps that primarily focus on AR. The data doesn't include apps with limited ARKit functionality, such as AR photo modes or traditional apps with augmented reality elements tacked on.
The data seems to point to a growing interest in ARKit apps; at the time of Sensor Tower's first analysis in October 2017, it found over three million ARKit-only apps had been installed.
Mega hit Pokemon Go undoubtedly helped bring mobile AR into the mainstream, and while nothing has reached Go-levels of success since then, the ARKit ecosystem seems to be plugging along nicely.
With iOS 12 due to debut at WWDC 2018 in early June, we should hear even more about Apple's AR plans. It's prooobbbbably too early for the Apple AR glasses, so instead expect plenty of continued ARKit chatter.