Creating App Previews for Your AR Apps

You can create short videos using footage captured on iPhone or iPad to help customers understand what to expect from your immersive augmented reality (AR) experience. App previews autoplay on the App Store in iOS 11, making them an effective and engaging tool for helping users discover and learn about your app.

AR App previews

Overview

Apps that use ARKit seamlessly blend realistic virtual objects with the real world. Use app previews to show users what they can do with the virtual objects placed into their surroundings.

Note that your video should be taken from directly within the app and should not include people interacting with the device, such as over-the shoulder angles.

Choosing a Location and Setting

Choose a setting that is uncluttered and well-lit. Make sure that there aren’t any physical objects that might get in the way of the virtual content — a busy environment may distract or confuse your audience. However, you'll need to ensure that there are enough details in the physical environment for the app to track, so that your virtual content doesn’t appear to jump around. For example, use a surface with texture so when the camera moves, the app can recognize and understand the scene.

Whether in a public space or a private location, be mindful of your surroundings and do not capture material that you do not have permission to show. This can include people, logos, branded products, artwork, computer hardware, murals or signage on buildings, and other intellectual property.

When depicting multiplayer experiences, ensure that the devices of other players are not visible in your footage.

Recording Footage

You can capture screen recordings of your AR app by connecting your iOS device to your Mac with a Lightning cable. Learn more about how to record video for app previews.

If you need to move around to show the experience of using your app, you can use the Screen Recording feature in iOS 11. To access this feature, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, and add Screen Recording to your Control Center. When you’re ready to record, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access the record button.

When capturing footage of your AR app, ensure that the camera movement is smooth and controlled. Excessive motion — too far, too fast, or shaking vigorously — can blur the image or reduce the tracking quality, making it hard to watch.

Creating Establishing Shots

Set up the app before you start recording, so that the physical details and surfaces are already detected. To help users distinguish what is virtual from what is real, particularly when a virtual object is designed to look real, use the first few seconds of your app preview to show the object being placed into a user’s surrounding or being manipulated. For example, you might show a virtual couch moving in a room or show the fabric changing on the couch.

Using Graphics and Audio

Consider adding graphic elements, such as animated touch spots, when you need to demonstrate how interaction works within the app. This can be helpful when virtual objects are being scaled, repositioned, or rotated by the user. For example, if an object is scaled without seeing the gesture causing it, it may lead the viewer to think that the object is advancing or receding from the camera.

You can also use audio feedback, such as sound effects from the app, to help communicate when an action is being performed.

Displaying Your App Preview on the App Store

You can show up to three app previews on the App Store in iOS 11. If your app offers both AR and two-dimensional functionality, consider displaying your AR app preview first to highlight this new capability.

For general guidance on app previews, read Show More with App Previews.