Google launches the near-real-time augmented virtual reality game "Ingress" for iOS users.
Niantic Labs, a start-up within Google, released the closed beta version of the game in November 2012 and the general version of the game made their way to gamers in December 2013. Initially, the game was made only for Android users but on July 14 Google announced an iOS version of the game to attract more customers.
Augmented reality super imposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world. Gamers who play Ingress will also be able to turn their real-world location to a virtual world.
Once gamers download the Ingress app on their device they have to log into Google Maps-based interface, which highlights at "portals" around the globe that can also include famous landmarks. Gamers play either as "Enlightened" or as "Resistance" and have to move around in the real-world to unlock sources of mysterious energy.
John Hanke, vice president of product development for Niantic Labs, says that the idea of the game is to get gamers move around and explore the real world rather than sitting at just one place and playing.
"The theme of the group was the things around you that just lie beneath the surface, the unseen world," said Hanke in August 2013. "The information exists on the Internet, but these are probably things you don't notice in the real world. The information, although it is there, is often difficult to get to."
The gaming industry is very optimistic about the future of augmented reality games. iOS is just next to Android in the mobile operating system industry and occupies a major chunk of the market.
"Our future is at stake. You must choose a side. A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us," reads the product description of Ingress on Apple App store.
The game is available as a free download from the Apple App store and weighs 43.7MB. The app currently supports only English, German and Japanese languages. Ingress requires iOS 5.0 or later and is compatible with iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.
Many gamers prefer to play games on bigger screens. The biggest iPhone has a screen size of 4-inch. Rumors suggest that Apple is expected to launch the next-generation iPhone 6 in two sizes: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. If rumors are correct then iPhone 6 users will witness an enhanced gaming experience on their smartphone.