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Microsoft HoloLens app is coming to Android phones

The company is increasing the reach of its mixed reality software, at least for businesses.

The apps will spread Microsoft's AR technology beyond headsets.
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Microsoft is expanding its mixed reality platform from AR and VR headsets to mobile phones.

Its Dynamics 365 Remote Assist app is expected to arrive in preview for Android phones in April, Microsoft said Thursday in a blog post. The Dynamics 365 Product Visualize app will debut for Apple iOS devices in preview in April as well. 

The apps are focused on businesses -- not consumers. "Mixed reality" is Microsoft's term for anything related to augmented reality or virtual reality.

The Remote Assist app for Microsoft's HoloLens headset already lets wearers share what they're seeing via the built-in camera. They can annotate images to give detailed instructions or troubleshoot a problem. With the Android app, people will be able to do basically the same thing with just their phone. That means businesses can take advantage of features, like annotation, without dishing out for a headset.

Product Visualize is geared more toward the sale of vehicles or heavy machinery. The app will let businesses display products scaled down or full-size in augmented reality. The Verge reported earlier on the apps, citing the head of Microsoft's mixed reality business. 

Microsoft didn't comment beyond the blog post. 

The highly anticipated HoloLens 2 headset could be unveiled next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The headset, originally released in 2016, layers 3D hologram graphics onto reality.  

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