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Android phones are getting a big AR upgrade to fight the iPhone 12

pixel 4 xl
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google plans to bring augmented reality support to more phones with dual camera setups, starting with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. As spotted by Android Police, the company has issued an update to the Google Play Services for AR, the app it uses for the ARCore feature set.

The changelog notes "Dual camera stereo depth on supported devices," and Google's list of compatible devices specifies that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be the first dual camera phones to receive this update in the coming weeks.

It's a bit strange that the first devices to receive this update will be 2019's flagship Pixel phones. But they both use a telephoto lens for their secondary camera, which likely aid in creating more detailed 3D maps.

The Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are both noticeably absent from the coming soon notice. They both use an ultrawide secondary shooter, so Google might have some additional background work to get ARCore to function properly on those devices. 

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter: @jccpalmer — his Instagram feed is mostly photos of his cat.