ARCore is Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality. It was announced in 2017, with Google later deprecating Tango for the current solution that does not require specialized sensors, cameras, or other hardware. Google today renamed the ARCore app on Android to “Google Play Services for AR.”
Google updated the Play Store listing (spotted via APK Mirror) today with the new name. The app description makes reference to the change, while explaining that “Google Play Services for AR is an Android package that unlocks augmented reality (AR) experiences built with an ARCore SDK on certified Android devices.”
This package was previously known as ARCore. Install the app and unlock new ways to shop, learn, create and experience the world together.
Despite this change, Google does not appear to be replacing the ARCore branding, with the purple 3D logo still in use. Meanwhile, the Google Developers AR page still features “ARCore” prominently even after making the latest version of the ARCore service available for download as an APK or Android emulator.
This new name is more apt for the service responsible for driving AR features used by first and third-party apps on Android, as well as introducing new features. ARCore was named too similarly to applications that users might expect to interact with directly. It’s unclear whether Play Services for AR will now be updated in the background. At the moment, users can choose to allow or deny a new version.
Google has retained the versioning, with 1.11 the latest version of Google Play Services for AR. Release notes on Github also reference the name change:
The ARCore service has been renamed to Google Play Services for AR. On Google Play devices it is now distributed as part of Google Play Services.