How Apple’s New AR Software Could Shake Up the App World

When Apple unveils its 10th anniversary iPhone on Tuesday, the most interesting development won’t be the updated hardware. It will be the apps that run on the phone and take advantage of Apple’s new augmented reality software.

That software will allow a completely new kind of app to emerge, one that can make it seem as if computer-generated objects exist and interact with the real world. That could reignite interest among consumers in downloading apps: a recent report by comScore found that 51% of consumers don't download new apps on a monthly basis, up two percentage points since last year. And it could create an opening for some new app developers to get a foothold in an industry dominated by tech giants Facebook and Google. (The seven most popular apps on U.S. smartphones are all owned by Facebook or Google, according to comScore.) 

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But the technology needed to create augmented reality glasses that are light and sleek enough for consumers to wear could be decades away. ARKit could spark the consumer demand that might speed the development of that technology.

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