Google brings ARCore apps to the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S in China via the Xiaomi App Store
Google has announced that it has collaborated with Xiaomi to bring ARCore apps to the Chinese market via the Xiaomi App Store. Xiaomi's latest flagship, the Mi Mix 2S will be the first beneficiary with Google saying that more partners will be coming onboard soon. The Mi Mix 2S sports a 5.99-inch 2160 x 1080 IPS display with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 powering the innards making it a good launchpad for ARCore apps in China.
Google's tryst with Augmented Reality (AR) on smartphones started in 2014 with Project Tango and it even managed to have a few consumer outings in the form of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus Zenfone AR. But with the capability requiring fairly high-end specs and the rising use of AR on iPhones, Google had to scrap Project Tango for ARCore in 2017 that supports a wide range of already existing Android devices in the market. During MWC 2018, Google took to the stage to announce that developers can start submitting ARCore apps to the Play Store and soon, the first apps were seen hitting the Play Store in less than a month.
ARCore requires the device to be running Android 7.0 or newer and access to the Play Store to update the AR components and related apps. Since the Play Store isn't available in China, Chinese users have been at a disadvantage in this regard. While there have been rumors of the Play Store potentially coming to China, negotiations with the Chinese Government and regulators doesn't seem to have materialized yet. All that is set to change with Google's new-found partnerships with local Chinese app stores. Also, Google would be foolhardy to give up on a lucrative market like China and would want to make sure its services are available there in some form or the other.
Google, however, did not go into specifics such as to which apps and how many of them would be made available in the Xiaomi App Store but we should be able to know that soon.