Google has formed a partnership with Xiaomi to introduce the search giant's ARCore platform to mobile devices in China through the Xiaomi App Store. The first mobile phone in the Far Eastern country to receive the ARCore technology is the Mix 2S handset, allowing the device to analyze its environment and interact with data. For the uninitiated, the ARCore platform is designed as an ecosystem for developing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences using a wide variety of application programming interfaces (APIs). The technology relies on its capabilities to track motion, understand the surroundings, and estimate the environment's lighting conditions in order to combine the real world with virtual content as seen through a phone camera. Last March, Google launched a number of new ARCore-based apps on the Play Store.
The Mountain View, California-based internet giant first announced its plan to bring ARCore to devices in China back in February during the Mobile World Congress. It's worth pointing out that Xiaomi is just the first in a number of Chinese companies set to forge an alliance with Google for the ARCore platform. Google previously said that Huawei and Vivo will update their devices to support ARCore later this year, along with other companies such as Motorola, Sony, and HMD Global. ARCore officially exited its experimental phase of development last February. The mobile augmented reality platform initially added support for the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 range of devices, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S7 series, Galaxy Note 8, LG V30 and V30 Plus, ASUS ZenFone AR, and OnePlus 5. It is also important to remember that eligible Android phones that are compatible with the ARCore platform include those devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or later. Most recently, Google rolled out ARCore integration to Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus devices, though the platform's support for the Galaxy S9 lineup was already a given when the flagships debuted last February.
It is understood that the launch of ARCore technology on the mobile phones in China is part of Google's efforts to build up its presence in the country, where the majority of its core services such as Gmail, Google Search, and Google Drive remain censored.