Augmented Reality

Tools that AR developers should know about.

Johnny Reid
Feb 28, 2023

To assist AR developers, here's a rundown of the top AR developer tools every developer should be familiar with.

Augmented reality development tools that every developer needs to know.

Tools that AR developers should know about.

With the speedy expansion of the augmented reality sector, both developers and non-developers alike are utilizing some of the most well-known platforms, developer tools, and software development kits (SDKs) to create captivating AR apps and experiences. To assist AR developers, here's a rundown of the top AR developer tools every developer should be familiar with.


Unity is a leading cross-platform game engine and development environment. It supports the creation of 2D and 3D games and interactive experiences across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and many others. With its intuitive interface and powerful tools, Unity makes it easy for developers of all skill levels to build and publish high-quality games and interactive experiences.

One of the key strengths of Unity is its extensive asset store, which offers a vast collection of pre-made 3D models, animations, sounds, and other resources that can be easily imported into projects. Additionally, Unity provides access to a wide range of scripting APIs and plugins, allowing developers to add custom functionality and extend the engine's capabilities.

Unity's support for virtual and augmented reality development is also a major selling point, as it enables developers to create immersive AR and VR experiences with ease. The engine features built-in support for ARKit and ARCore on iOS and Android, respectively, as well as for VR platforms like Oculus, HTC Vive, and others.

This platform contains extensive documentation and has an active community of developers, making Unity a popular choice for game development projects of all scales. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional game developer, Unity provides the tools and resources you need to bring your visions to life.

Unreal Engine

‍Unreal Engine is a powerful game engine and development platform that enables developers to create high-quality, interactive 3D experiences for a wide range of applications such as games, architectural visualization, product design, and more. It's widely used by some of the world's top game developers, and is known for its powerful tools, high-fidelity graphics, and its ability to scale from small, indie projects to large-scale games.

Unreal Engine features a user-friendly interface and a visual scripting language called Blueprint, which allows developers to build complex systems and interactions without writing any code. The engine also supports a wide range of platforms and devices, including PC, mobile, console, VR, and AR, and it offers integrations with a variety of tools and technologies to enhance the development process.

In addition to its robust feature set, Unreal Engine is supported by a large community of developers and artists, and there are many resources available, including tutorials, forums, and sample projects, to help users get started and continue to grow their skills. With its advanced capabilities, flexible tools, and scalability, Unreal Engine is an essential tool for game developers and other content creators looking to create interactive, high-quality 3D experiences.


Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation software that allows artists, animators, and developers to create a wide range of 3D content, including animations, models, and visual effects. It's a powerful and versatile tool that provides a comprehensive suite of features and capabilities, including a robust 3D modeling toolset, advanced rigging and animation tools, and a wide range of visual effects and compositing options.

Blender is used by a large and active community of artists, developers, and hobbyists, and is well-supported by a wealth of online resources and tutorials. It runs on a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, making it accessible to users regardless of their operating system or hardware.

The software's open-source nature means that it is constantly being improved and updated by the community, and new features and capabilities are regularly added. This has made Blender an essential tool for many artists and developers working in the 3D content creation space, and its use has become increasingly popular in industries ranging from architecture to film and television.


Google ARCore is a platform for building augmented reality experiences on Android devices. It enables developers to create interactive and engaging AR content by utilizing motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. ARCore is free to use and works with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal Engine, making it accessible for a wide range of developers to create high-quality AR experiences. 


Apple's ARKit 6 is a framework for building augmented reality experiences on iOS devices. It provides advanced features like People Occlusion, which allows AR content to realistically interact with people, and collaborative sessions, which allows multiple users to experience AR together. ARKit 6 also has improved motion tracking, enabling more seamless and realistic AR experiences. 

With ARKit 6, capturing breathtaking high-resolution videos of AR experiences just got easier. The addition of 4K video opens up a world of possibilities for professional video editing, film production, social media apps and beyond. The video and capture capabilities have been enhanced even further with HDR video support and high-resolution background image capture. ARKit 6 has also expanded its Location Anchors to new cities such as Montreal, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo, while also featuring enhancements to Motion Capture.

With the integration of RealityKit (a framework used to implement high-performance 3D simulation and rendering by leveraging information provided by the ARKit framework to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the real world) developers can create photorealistic AR experiences with easy-to-use tools and a powerful rendering engine. The latest version of ARKit 6 also includes support for the new M1 chips in the latest Macs, making it even easier for developers to create and run AR experiences on both iOS and macOS platforms.


The RealityKit framework is a purpose-built platform for augmented reality, boasting photorealistic rendering, camera effects, animations, physics, and a host of other features. RealityKit streamlines AR development like never before; with its native Swift APIs, seamless integration with ARKit, hyper-realistic physics-based rendering, animations that can manipulate transforms and skeletons, spatial audio, and physics simulation for rigid bodies, it is enabling AR development to reach new realms.

Reality Composer

Reality Composer is a versatile tool for creating AR experiences for iPhone, iPad, and macOS. It features a live linking capability allowing developers to easily switch between Mac and mobile devices to design, test, and refine their AR content. The built-in AR library offers a wide range of pre-made virtual objects that can be customized to fit the needs of each project. 

In addition to the library, Reality Composer allows for the creation of animations and the use of spatial audio, adding a new level of realism to AR scenes. The tool is available as part of Xcode and as a standalone app for iOS and iPadOS, providing seamless development across multiple platforms. With the ability to record and play sensor and camera data, and export projects as USDZ files, Reality Composer streamlines the AR development process.

Reality Converter Beta

The Reality Converter app offers a convenient solution for converting, previewing, and customizing USDZ 3D objects on Mac. With its simple drag-and-drop functionality, users can effortlessly import common 3D file formats, such as .obj, .gltf, and .usd, and immediately view the converted USDZ result. The app allows for the adjustment of material properties using personal textures, as well as editing of file metadata. Moreover, built-in IBL options enable users to preview their USDZ objects under a range of lighting and environmental conditions.

Meta Spark

Meta Spark AR Studio is a software platform developed by Meta Company that provides tools for creating, testing, and deploying AR experiences. It offers a range of features and capabilities, including drag-and-drop asset creation, scripting and scripting libraries, live preview and testing, and more.

Meta Spark AR Studio is designed to make AR content creation accessible to a wider range of users, including developers and non-developers alike. The platform's intuitive interface, comprehensive documentation, and community support make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to get started with AR development.