The Essential PH-1 will eventually support augmented reality platform ARCore but there's currently no telling when exactly will that functionality be implemented into the device as the firm is still waiting for Google to start cooperating, a company official recently revealed in a fan Q&A session on Reddit. The Alphabet-owned company must approve all ARCore implementations and often collaborates with original equipment manufacturer on their development but as the interest in the solution remains high, Essential isn't near the top of its waiting list, as per the same source.
Essential didn't clarify when exactly did it request PH-1 ARCore support from Google, i.e. disclosed whether it's partially at fault for still not offering the feature because it was late to approach the Mountain View, California-based tech giant. "There are a lot of people ahead of us," the official said, adding that Google will have to co-develop the functionality alongside the consumer electronics startup. Once it's Essential's turn to work with Google on new ARCore implementations, the PH-1 will be updated with support for the AR platform in a relatively swift manner, the representative said.
The Palo Alto, California-based company is a niche player in the smartphone industry and was hence likely never a priority for Google, even as the firm itself was founded by former Googler and co-creator of Android Andy Rubin. Even much larger brands such as Samsung engaged in finger-pointing exercises with Google after ARCore support was late to arrive on their devices and many contemporary flagships still lack the functionality, though several companies such as HMD already managed to implement it into their mid-range offerings like the Nokia 6.1. ARCore is presently available on over 100 million devices across the globe and should have its presence expand in a significant manner over the second half of the year. Essential itself will soon be commemorating the first anniversary of the PH-1's launch, though it failed to move many units and may reportedly even cancel the handset's successor as it's pondering a sale of its business.