100 million Android users will now get more augmented reality apps, just like those on iPhone

  • Google said on Friday that ARCore — a software development tool for Android — is coming out of "preview" mode and is now available to developers.
  • New apps will include experiences from Snapchat, Sotheby's, Porsche and JD.com, Google said.

An Android sculpture stands in the lobby of Google I/O last June.
Harriet Taylor | CNBC
An Android sculpture stands in the lobby of Google I/O last June.

The Android app store will soon be filled with augmented reality apps to rival those available for iOS, according to a Friday blog post from Google.

Google said on Friday that ARCore — a software development tool for Android — is coming out of "preview" mode and is now available to developers. The new set of apps could be available on 100 million phones, plus some upcoming devices.

New apps will include experiences from Snapchat, Sotheby's International Realty, Porsche and JD.com, Google said.

Google is also expanding its efforts around Google Lens, a tool which superimposes information into users' phone cameras. The tool, available in a Google Photos update for iPhones and Androids, uses Google's image searching power to identify objects and text in your photos and make them searchable.

Google has been doing more to support high-end devices that have the computing power for artificial intelligence, and ARCore is one way Android can compete with Apple's luxury handsets. The more users adopt Pixel devices or upgrade to the latest version of Android, the better Google's artificial intelligence becomes — and augmented reality is a hot feature that could lure customers.

It could be an uphill battle for both companies, though. A third-party report from Apptopia recently suggested that it's been tough to attract developers to make new apps for Apple's version of augmented reality, ARKit.

Clarification: Sotheby's International Realty is the company behind one of the new augmented reality apps on Android.

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