How to create your iOS AR app in 15 minutes

Vincent Chu
4 min readFeb 14, 2021
Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Over the holidays a month ago, I decided to spend some time to try out RealityKit and RealityComposer.

Apple did a good job with making the construction of a simple AR app really easy. Here is how you can create your own simple AR app in 15 minutes.

It took me a lot more than 15 minutes because I had to upgrade XCode to XCode 12, and in order to do that I had to upgrade to Big Sur…

Assuming you’ve done all of that, and you have connected your iOS device and XCode has prepared all the team and provisioning stuff for you, here is how to create a codeless AR app in 15 minutes.

New Project

There is an Augmented Reality App template. Select that.

This is what I selected. Since this is an example just for fun, I didn’t ask it to generate tests. Clicking next will generate a simple AR project for you.

If you build and run the generated project on your iOS device without making any changes, it will place a grey box on any horizontal surface it finds.

That’s pretty boring, so we will take the next 5 minutes in doing something interesting so that it doesn’t seem like a generated project.

Reality Composer

In the list of generated files, go to the generated Experience.rcproject, and select “Open in Reality Composer”

There are two things you have to know — anchors and entities. Anchors are what entities get attached to. The entities will move/rotate with the anchors in the real world once the virtual anchors defined here are…

Vincent Chu

I'm an engineering leader in a SAS company with more than 15 years of software industry experience.