Google bring Ingress augmented reality game to iPhone and iPad

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Google has released a version of its augmented reality game, Ingress, on the iOS app store.

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That’s right: Google make games too, apparently. Ingress is an augmented reality game where you must travel on foot around physical space in order to ‘capture’ different neighbourhoods and gather resources. The game takes places globally too – with the world carved up into slices to capture.

The title has been available on Android for some time – so it is good for both players and Google, that iOS users will be able to get in on the action.

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If you’re still wondering why Google is making a game then consider the secret within: This game is actually Google putting you to work. Ingress players are being used to not-so-secretly improve Google Maps. See the problem is that whilst Google can figure out the best road directions, walking directions are trickier because what’s to stop you cutting across a park, or taking a path that isn’t quite as obvious?

By walking around and playing Ingress, you’re actually feeding back to Google GPS data using your phone on the optimal routes to take – which can then be factored into Google Maps algorithms. And to motivate you to do it, Google has cleverly wrapped up what would be a menial task in a game. Brilliant.

Ingress is available for download now.

James O’Malley