App of the Week – Just A Line

Published on June 21, 2018

What is augmented reality (AR), and why do you need it when doodling on your phone? Google’s new Just a Line app is the answer to both of those questions at once!

Coined as an “AR experiment,” the Just a Line app is one of many ARCore 1.0 apps that the company plans to release within the foreseeable future. The app bills itself as a cross-platform collaborative AR app for doodling, the first of its kind.

So, AR is what makes Just A Line like no other drawing app out there. But what does AR really mean?

Put simply, AR is the layering of computer-generated enhancements on top of the reality you see around you. AR is sometimes known as the “cousin” to virtual reality (VR), because while VR tends to create a fabricated yet hyper-realistic generated reality simulation, AR incorporates your surroundings and adds noticeable enhancements to add to your lived experience.

Sound complicated? That’s the great thing about Just A Line. Beyond all the technical terms, the app itself is as simple and user-friendly as its name implies. 

To create your own doodle, start by drawing with your finger directly onto the screen where you want the image to stay in your 3D surroundings, prior to recording. The app gives you three line widths to play around with as you craft a drawing. From there, you can just point the camera in the desired space you want to record a video, and the doodle will stay put where you originally drew it, no matter the direction you tilt and move your phone in. Play around with it, and you’ll see that the doodle adapts to every angle you move your phone around!

You can also create a doodle while recording through the app, and the drawing will follow wherever you move the camera to.

After creating a recorded video of your drawing, you can easily save and share your creation from your phone’s photo gallery to any number of social media sites.

One of the most exciting features of the app is your ability to “share a drawing space,” which means both you and your friends can collaborate on drawings together, in real time. The app’s website demonstrates this with an example of tic-tac-toe, one of many fun possibilities to explore. Just a Line even allows for both Android and iOS users to collaborate on these recorded drawings together.

Excited to show off your AR doodling skills? Originally, the app was only available for Android users, but is now available for iOS users, versions 11.3 and above. Ready to get doodling? You can download this experimental app for free right now!

Think there are any other AR or VR apps our team of Geeks needs to get our hands on? We’d love to hear from you over on Facebook or Twitter, where we keep the geek-speak going 24/7!