Don't have a Nokia Windows Phone but want Augmented Reality? Try Wikitude.

With all the hype Nokia devices get especially with their onslaught of custom software, we figured we'd throw a bone to the rest of you who aren't on the Lumia train.

In case you missed it, Nokia launched the beta of City Lens today. A nifty little app that uses the camera, gyroscope, compass, GPS and internet to show you in real-time where shops, coffee houses and restaurants can be found. It's certainly well done but not particularly original (see LG's ScanSearch app from 2011).

But in case you own an HTC or Samsung phone and want to have the same functionality there's a great free option already out there: Wikitude.

Actually, Wikitude does even more than City Lens since it's more robust with search features. It's been around for awhile and is found on competing platforms making it more widely supported. It hooks into Yelp, Twitter, Flickr, Starbucks and more. Heck, their system even has APIs so dev's can integrate Wikitude's services into their own apps.

Did we mention it's also a lot fun? Sure, seeing people literally tweeting around you is borderline creepy but it's also a bit fascinating.

The app is free too meaning there's little reason for you not to give it a try, even if you use Nokia's City Lens. We found the service to be quite accurate and useful when traveling around the city.

Pick up Wikitude here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Let us know in comments how you think it compares to City Lens (if you have both).

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Lol. Lumia rocks.
  • I just gave it a try, and it's a bit overwhelming. I think if I put this on my mom's iPhone she'd probably never open it again, and wouldn't bother learning how to use it (I tried the WP version). Nokia City Lens is so straight forward, and I think the augmented reality works a bit better because it stacks things when it gets too cluttered or too far, where Wikitude just kinda threw everything at my face, and wasn't very accurate actually. That's my 30 second review of each, lol.
  • I've had Wikitude for quite some time, and have to say I prefer City Lens over it so far, especially in terms of presentation. It just feels more smooth as well, which is impressive considering its beta status.
  • I agree, Wikitude is a bit of a mess.  It's really neat, but design wise, it's kind of a nightmare.  That, and it doesn't save my setting to display in miles.  That being said, if I didn't have a Nokia, it's a great alternative.
  • Is wikitude being trashed now because it isn't a Nokia app?
  • Well I hope not, because it does look like a good alternative for those without a Lumia.
  • It's being trashed because it doesn't look as good as the Nokia app no because it's not a Nokia app.
  • I didn't know this app existed.  Thanks.  I will give it a try.
  • No choice but to try this one. If City Lens turns out to be a great app, then I will thank Nokia and patiently wait for it.
  • That's a pretty darn good tip. Didn't know that. I use the LG app Scan Search that does the same. But I have my Samsung Focus S fully rooted that's why I can use it. But this is good for people that don't have it rooted.
  • Yapf did it pretty well, too!
  • I had wikitude on my Lumia before I had City Lens. I used to wikitude on my Nokia N8, it was good.
  • I use wikitude myself. Since I can't get City Lens (I have a HTC TITAN) I have to use it. Let's hope they improve it then.
  • I installed wikitude yesterday, but I haven't had a chance to do much with it. Hope to check it out today.
  • The iPhone has way more AR apps.