Google’s AR plans have changed over the years, from the standalone Project Tango to modern web-based efforts. But it’s the AR-based Measure app that’s the subject of today’s eulogy. The app leveraged your camera on ARCore-supported devices to (as the name suggests) measure the dimensions of stuff, and now it’s being retired. Google has suspended both support and updates for Measure.
Measure started life back in 2016 as a Tango-exclusive app. (You remember Google’s now dead experiment regarding AR-specialized devices, right?) In 2018, after Google wrote that effort off, Measure was broken out into its own standalone app for ARCore-supported devices — ARCore itself basically obviating the need for Project Tango to be a thing.
In 2018, the app was updated to work on vertical surfaces. In 2019, Google even toyed with the idea of bundling it into the camera, though that didn’t pan out. Last year it picked up a new surface animation and more unit conversions — all signs of active (if slow) development.
The app worked sort of like magic, allowing you to point your phone’s camera at stuff, draw some lines on your screen, and get measurements regarding the dimensions depicted. Sadly, Measure didn’t always work very accurately and had some stability problems, as reviews on the Play Store listing pretty clearly indicate. (Apple later did its own version on the concept, which works a little better — probably at least in part thanks to the lidar hardware on some of its phones)
Above: Measure’s app listing if you haven’t downloaded the app before. Below: The listing as seen by those with it in their accounts already.
Earlier today, we noticed that the app listing for Measure was taken down for accounts that did not previously have it. For those that downloaded it at least once before (and who have it in their app library), the listing now states:
“This app is no longer supported and will not be updated. Users who previously installed this app can continue to use it on compatible devices.”
The changelog also states that the current release is the “final version,” reiterating that no further updates will be provided. Neither disclaimer was present on the app listing as of a few weeks ago.
The app should continue to work when installed, and customers that have it in their accounts already can pull it down on new devices, but anyone that didn’t already have it can no longer download it from the Play Store, and any issues the app may have (quite a few, based on reviews) won’t be fixed. Note that it’s still available at our sister site APK Mirror.
Measure is still highlighted as an AR & VR experience on Google’s site.
Curiously, Google still highlights Measure as a feature on its AR & VR experiences site, despite this change. We’ve reached out to Google for more information regarding Measure’s retirement, but the company did not immediately respond.
In the meantime, the Google Graveyard has another funeral planned.