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iOS 12 turns your iPhone into a virtual tape measure

iOS 12 is quite literally made to measure, thanks to a new app that uses augmented reality to calculate the dimensions of real-world objects.

This story is part of WWDC 2020. All the latest coverage from Apple's WWDC annual developers conference.
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Augmented reality was one of the first topics Apple tackled at its yearly WWDC keynote on Monday, with new ARKit2 features in iOS 12 designed to help people put the technology to use in the real world. Chief among them: A new app called Measure that uses the iPhone's camera to calculate the approximate dimensions of whatever it sees.

The new Measure app in iOS 12 lets you figure out the approximate dimensions of real world objects. Just connect the corners and let your phone figure it out.

Morgan Little/CNET

The demo looked simple enough -- just point your phone at whatever you want to measure, then tap and drag your finger along an edge. Your phone's software will do the rest, giving you an approximate idea of the width, depth or height of whatever you're looking at.

The app can also scan rectangles, then spit out approximate dimensions, which might be a handy way to figure out how big your furniture and artwork is when you're planning on rearranging things in your home.

Apple didn't make any concrete claims about the app's accuracy, but we'll be sure to test it out and let you know how close the numbers come.