Ever since Apple added gyroscopes to the iPhone and iPad, augmented reality apps have no longer been the sluggish and cumbersome oafs they used to be.
Gyroscopes tell your iPhone which way you’re facing, and which way is up or down. Couple that with GPS and a built in compass, and suddenly your device has a good feel for where you are and which way you’re looking.
Using these tools, apps can create a virtual world right on top of the real one. You can see floating symbols of restaurants nearby, or floating pictures tagged to specific geo-locations. These apps tell you the direction to walk in, and how far away these places are.
For example, if you’re looking for a restaurant, you can hold up your phone in front of your face and the Yelp app will put restaurant names and logos on your screen based on which real direction they are in. Even if you move your phone, the restaurant logos will appear to remain stationary, just like when you move your head in real life.
Think of an augmented reality app as a lens through which you can see the world. One lens might be restaurants near you, and another might be pointing out exactly how far away the pin is on a golf course.
See the entire article and the list of apps here: Best Augmented Reality Apps For iPhone and iOS | Business Insider.