Dev Report: Tango Is Dead, ARCore Preview 2 Is Here with No Change to the Device List

Tango Is Dead, ARCore Preview 2 Is Here with No Change to the Device List

In a highly exciting but ultimately disappointing turn of events, Google released the ARCore Preview 2 today. While the new preview does bring with it new versions of the application programming interface (API) for the C language, pause and resume functionality, as well as increased accuracy, one thing it seems to be missing is a bigger compatibility list.

ARCore is an API built off of the augmented reality experiments that Google started back in 2014 with Project Tango — AR based on a special sensor to be put into smartphones. Tango, unfortunately, was only used in a few Android devices and never quite saw the traction it should have. In today's ARCore preview announcement, it appears that Google is officially saying farewell to support for the hardware.

As we focus on bringing augmented reality to the entire Android ecosystem with ARCore, we're turning down support of Tango.

— Nikhil Chandhok, Director, Product Management

Since its original release in September, the ARCore preview has supported the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8. The latest Google smartphone release, the Pixel 2, was recently added to that list. Unfortunately, for some reason, the Samsung S8+ (which is essentially the same hardware as the S8), as well as the Galaxy Note 8, do not work. Well, the S8+ does ... sometimes.

AR in action on the Google Pixel 2.

After an announcement by Samsung in October that they would be supporting ARCore, many interested in developing AR for the Android platform have been waiting patiently for some word. For now, you have two choices: buy a compatible device or wait.

Along with today's update came the announcement that the first non-preview version, ARCore V1.0, will be coming in March 2018. It is worth noting a twitter post from the official Tango twitter account also stated the turn down for Tango will also happen in March 2018.

According to Google, this will include "support for over 100 million devices." For developers out there looking to get started, you can find out more information at the Google ARCore website.

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Cover image via Google/YouTube

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