ARKit vs ARCore vs Vuforia vs 8th Wall

Hello all; I’m still a junior developer, so please forgive the confusion. I have a few questions:

  1. I use Unity to build 3D environments, and know that Unity can export to Android and iOS, but I guess this is for a standard game and not AR because we need AR SDKs such as ARKit, ARCore, or Vuforia. (Correct?)

  2. Why do I need to use ARKit, ARCore, or Vuforia when I could just use 8th Wall? Are there extra capabilities in ARKit / ARCore / Vuforia’s scripts?

  3. I only have a Windows machine and an Android phone; can I build on them, and then 8th Wall will make it compatible with iOS? Is there any other way to build on one platform and export to others?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

  1. Not sure exactly what you’re asking here, but if you’re not doing AR, you don’t need any of those AR SDKs. Just deploy regular Unity content to iOS or Android like usual.

  2. ARKit is only for iOS; ARCore is only for Android. Unity’s ARKit plugin is pretty rough – you’re basically left to hack at the example projects and cobble together the functionality you need. Very inelegant, but it works. Vuforia is its own AR tech that runs on both iOS and Android and runs on older phones (ARKit, for example, will only run on iPhone 6s and newer). Vuforia will use ARKit/ARCore tech if the hardware it’s running on support it, otherwise it will use its own AR tech. Vuforia also has image tracking, which means you can lock a virtual object with a real world object, bar code, etc. Vuforia is well-funded, well-documented and now baked directly into Unity. The only bad part of Vuforia is that unless you have paid for a license, you get a Vuforia watermark in your app. 8th Wall is like Vuforia in that it works for both iOS and Android, uses ARKit/ARCore when it can, and will gracefully degrade to run on older devices. 8th Wall doesn’t have image tracking like Vuforia, but it’s free and has great documentation and is cross platform.

  3. You can build on Windows with 8th Wall and compile for iOS as an XCode project, but you’ll need a Mac to actually open the XCode project and deploy it to an iOS device for testing and submitting to the App Store

You just have the option to choose between them. I don’t know which one you should use, but choose one.

ARKit is for Apple( Most of the iPhones supported)

ARCore is for Android ( only selected models of android phone support)

Vuforia is for both Apple and Android(paid version for officially releasing to make money)

8th Wall is for both Apple and Android(free)

both Vuforia and 8th wall are less stable while building apps when compared with ARKit and ARCore.

As it stands today, ARCore supports Cloud Anchors across ARKit + ARCore. ARCore’s tracking is unavailable on iOS devices. This link is deceptive in that it openly claims ARCore iOS Support: But in the Quick Start Guide, it’s clear that it still requires ARKit for tracking on iOS and Cloud Anchors are the only ARCore feature supported on iOS.

8th Wall’s Unity integration is comprised of two distinguishing features:

  1. Compatibility Detection
  2. Lightweight markerless AR SLAM engine

We detect if you have ARKit built-in (iOS), ARCore installed (Android) or neither. We then serve ARKit/ARCore if available on your device. If neither are available, we serve our SLAM tracker which provides basically the same experience depending on your needs, but works on billions of devices.

This allows developers to continue to develop for ARKit and ARCore while simultaneously reaching a MUCH wider group than the ARKit + ARCore combined audience (particularly useful on Android).