ARCore is Google’s Augmented Reality (AR) platform. Not every Android phone has what it takes to be included among the devices supported by ARCore. To be on that list, Google checks a phone’s camera image and motion sensor to see how well the device “moves through the real world.” Google also makes sure that the handset is equipped with a CPU that is powerful enough to make the necessary calculations in real-time to make AR work smoothly.
Besides going through the certification process, each Android phone on the ARCore supported devices list is required to sport three things. It must have Android 7.0 or higher installed, it must ship with the Google Play Store installed, and it must have internet access in order to receive ARCore updates disseminated by Google over the air.
ARCore also supports several Apple iPhone and Apple iPad models. They must be compatible with Apple’s ARKit AR platform and have iOS 11 or higher installed. Supported iPhone models include the iPhone 6s and later (including the iPhone SE), iPad 5th and 6th generation, 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st and 2nd generation, 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
ARCore is Google’s successor to Project Tango. The latter required special hardware to run AR apps and features. Project Tango phones include the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus ZenFone AR.