Low app rating app store

Developers, Notify users about AR requirements/compatibility

I’ve seen this many times in the past both for free and paid apps that developers don’t mention which devices their ARKit app supports. Many people don’t check if it’s compatible or not and might pay for an ARKit app which they won’t be able to use.

This leads to rightfully negative comments and a low rating on the App Store.  Make sure you clearly clarify this in the game’s description. Users think there is a bug in the game, where they are not able to see anything on the screen after they give the app camera an access permission.

Grayed out download button on the app store
Grayed out download button on the app store for an ARKit only app, in this case, the Lego AR Studio

Now, I’ve checked it on my iPhone 5S devices. AR only apps have their “Get” button grayed out, so you can’t download them. That being said, some AR only apps are downloadable. For example, I was able to download AR Soccer: Strike (ARKit game), AR Laser for Cats,  and others. I first thought that Apple can recognize apps that were built using ARKit, but not those built with other AR platforms like Vuforia. From what I can see, even some free apps that were built using ARKit are available for download as well, correct me if I am wrong?

AR Pool not compatible with iPhone 5S
I was able to download AR Pool but I get this screen. I can’t use the camera with this app because it’s not compatible with my iPhone 5S.

I’ve download AR football and the app asks me to Find a Surface, but obviously, this doesn’t work because my iPhone 5S doesn’t support ARKit. Same goes for AR pool

The problem is with Hybrid apps that include AR features and paid apps. For example, the App Store allows me to pay for Orbu, which is an ARKit only app. I didn’t purchase to see whether the “Get” button is grayed out or not.

Stack AR hybrid AR app, working on iPhone 5S
Stack AR is a hybrid app, it has an AR mode but also a non-AR mode, so the App Store doesn’t gray out the download button.

I think there should be an option for developers to have a flag that the app store can recognize and notify users about the AR feature requirements.

But Orbu app on the app store
It lets me buy Orbu on the app store, although my iPhone 5S doesn’t support ARKit but has iOS 11.0 installed. Same goes for other apps like AR Block Party, AR Laser for Cats Pro and others.

I share this because I think developers should be aware of this. I see many times that they add a note about devices compatibility only after some people complain about the app not working on their devices after they’ve purchased it or try to use an AR feature that is part of the app.

Hope you find it useful. I think someone must shout this out loud. I’m sure non of you want to have a low rating on the app store because of this.

If you have something to add, please comment below, I would like to hear your opinion, both from users and developers. Thanks for reading.



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3 Replies to “Developers, Notify users about AR requirements/compatibility”

  1. Bill Black, Thank for sharing this. So I guess some developers just forget to implement it or maybe more possible, that are not even aware of this.

  2. Yes, we didn’t see that option when we submitted our app. And after we found it, we couldn’t make any changes. Quote from https://developer.apple.com: “All device requirement changes must be made when you submit an update to your binary. You are permitted only to expand your device requirements. Submitting an update to your binary to restrict your device requirements is not permitted. You are unable to restrict device requirements because this action will keep customers who have previously downloaded your app from running new updates.”

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