Quartz’s iPhone app now includes news stories in augmented reality


Today we’re adding a third dimension to our news coverage.

Quartz’s iPhone app already brings you the latest news in a quick, informative, and sometimes playful way—using a familiar messaging format that combines text, images, emoji, and animated GIFs.

Now, in the latest version of our app for iOS 11, we’ll also illustrate stories with 3D objects in augmented reality.

Take an item about the Cassini spacecraft, for example. The tiny ship crashed into Saturn last week after making several important discoveries over the past 20 years. As more discoveries emerge from the trove of data it sent back to Earth, we can take a closer look at Cassini by tapping on a chat bubble and viewing the spacecraft in augmented reality.

With some help from the iPhone’s camera, the NASA model appears in the environment around you. You can walk around it, view it up close, and even experience its actual size—all providing a better sense of what Cassini looked like.

AR in the Quartz app brings stories to life right in front of you, whether it’s an object from outer space, an artifact from history, or the landscape of an important part of the world. We’ll add 3D objects to our news feed when it helps tell the story, and sometimes just for the fun of it.

Quartz with augmented reality is available now from the App Store.

Note that it may take some time for the latest version of our app to hit the App Store. You’ll also need to update to Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system, which is also available today. The full AR experience will work on iPhones 6S or newer. Older iPhones will display the 3D objects, just not right there in the room with you.

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