iPhone-equipped New Yorkers now have something to do outside this summer besides defend their devices from thieves and sweat to death in this heat. Ingress, an augmented reality game popular in urban areas and previously available only on Android, is now officially available on iOS devices.
Ingress uses geomapping to transform real urban landscapes into a playing field that gets players moving around their city, fighting over portals and collecting resources — a smartphone game that’s played entirely IRL. The game’s sci-fi backstory, which involves an invading alien force that opposing teams of players either welcome or resist, evolves and grows constantly depending how well the real-life teams are doing.
Ingress was developed by a small, Google-owned lab in Los Angeles, which begs the question of why Google would want to make a hit game available on a platform other than Android, where players have been happily fighting out for over a year. Turns out, areas where Ingress is most popular — densely populated cities — are saturated by iPhone users.
Now that Ingress is available on iOS, they”ll likely see their user base spike. Their best move for the next step: incorporating 3D cameras and really augmenting reality.