How To Use iOS 12’s New Augmented Reality Measure App


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iOS 12 brought a lot of parity between the iPhone and iPad in the app department. Apple’s latest mobile OS brought the Stocks and Voice Memos apps to the iPad after almost 10 years of being iPhone exclusives. But even better than that is iOS 12 also introduced a new app called Measures.

The new Measures app is incredible. It uses augmented reality (AR) technology to turn your iOS device into a virtual tape measure. The app lets you automatically detect the dimensions of rectangular objects and measure the size of objects just as you would with a physical tape measure.

The app is nothing short of brilliant–magical even. However, it does have a bit of a learning curve, which is where this guide comes in. We’ll delve into how to use it below. However, it’s important to note the Measures app has some specific requirements. First, you must be running iOS 12 (duh). And second, the app requires an iPhone SE, iPhone 6s or later, iPad (5th Generation or later), or iPad Pro.

Got all that? Good. Then here’s how to use the new Measures app in iOS 12.

Take A Single Measurement


  1. Open the Measure app and follow the onscreen instructions. These instructions will ask you to move your device around. This gives your device a frame of reference for the object you’re measuring and the surface it’s on. Keep moving your device until a circle with a dot in the center appears on your screen. 
  2. The dot will be the starting point of reference for the object you are measuring. Move your device so that the dot is over the starting point of your measurement, then tap the + button.
  3. Slowly move your device until the dot is over the ending point of your measurement, then tap the + button again.
  4. If you’re happy with the measurement, you can tap the clear button to clear the measurement or the photo shutter button to take a picture of it. However, if you want to adjust the beginning and end points of the measurement, tap either one and move it to its new location. The measurement reading will change in real-time.

Take Multiple Measurements


If you decide you want to take another measurement in addition to the single measurement you just took you can do that, just follow these steps:

  1. After you take the first measurement (see the steps above), move your device to place the dot over another location on or near the object you just measured.
  2. Tap the + button to start the second measurement, then move your device to place the dot somewhere along the existing measurement. Note that additional measurements must start or end somewhere along an existing measurement.
  3. Slowly move your device until the dot is over the ending point of your new measurement, then tap the + button again.
  4. You can take as many multiple measurements as you want or press the curved arrow button to undo the last measurement.

Measure A Square Or Rectangle


The Measures app can also instantly measure the dimensions of square or rectangular objects. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the Measures app and point your device at the square or rectangular object you want to measure the dimensions of. A measurement box will automatically be placed around the object.
  2. Tap the + button to see the measurements for the object’s length and width.
  3. Move your device slightly to see the object’s calculated area. That’s it, you’re done!

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