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RIP Google Measure, a short-term solution for a long-term problem


Google’s Measure AR app has been around since the days of Project Tango, the AR phone and tablet ecosystem that was short-lived. Like the ecosystem it was built in, Google is sunsetting the Measure app as of now, first spotted by Android Police. While the updated changelog on the Google Play Store reads that the most recent update is the “final release”, it seems that Google is highlighting the actual finality of that decision.

While it seems a bit odd to see Google sunset such a simple, useful app, this follows the trend of them getting rid of many AR experiments like Playground and Playmoji, which is only available on the Pixel 5 and earlier Pixels. Last year, we saw Google run an experiment with AR measuring and social distancing to help people stay 6ft/2m apart by using their smartphones, and recent ARCore updates have added in raw depth information to better help developers measure the volume and location of real-world objects. It seems that Google is moving toward simply offering the tools for developers to make these experiences, instead.

If you’ve already got the Measure app installed, you’re good to go and can continue to use it so long as you’re using a phone with Google ARCore support. The Google Play Store listing for Measure, however, has been taken down entirely and will no longer service new downloads. You could always download the APK and sideload it if you’re comfortable with that sort of thing, but Google made it pretty clear that it has no intention of users actually using the app going forward. Here’s what Google had to say when we contacted them about it:

“We’re no longer able to support ongoing maintenance for the Measure app. Instead, we recommend trying one of the many alternatives available on the Play Store.”

-Google spokesperson

Google’s AR Measuring tool was one of the coolest early examples of how AR can make a meaningful impact in our lives. There are plenty of scenarios where I can think of needing a quick measurement of a real-world object, only to realize I don’t have a ruler or measuring tape anywhere nearby. Google Measure solved that, but now, it seems, we’ll have to rely on third-party apps that have some suspect reviews on the Play Store to get it done.

What do you think?


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