Xcode (SceneKit) vs. Unity

reallankinen profile image Lankinen ・1 min read

Unity vs SceneKit: which tool you should use to build your ARKit app

MacOS, Linux, Windows 10

Xcode is better if you are planing to make an app where AR is a feature. If you are planing to make cross-platform development, a lot of 3D content, special effects, and other game related things Unity is better.
Apple is offering 2D components like buttons that follow Apple's guidelines making sure the design is really good. Achieving the same quality with Unity requires much more work. Then in games there are not that much components you can take from Apple so it totally makes sense to use Unity as it contains things like physic calculations and better animations.
Unity is better for game development while Xcode is better for utility apps.
The Match-up: SceneKit or Unity for ARKit? | Hacker Noon
ARKit doesn't seem to have as good 3D editor as Unity allowing only do small things like rotate, position, change material, etc. but otherwise it needs to be done from the code.
Unity is better for quick prototyping but I believe it's even better to use something simpler https://www.notion.so/lankinen/AR-designing-cb85797b670e45f483422ff43886dd88 and then after that Xcode if the other reasons don't lead to Unity.

It seems like Unity is good for game development but Xcode wins when doing apps. The reasons seemed to be that it offers 2D components but as soon as the apple glasses are released, I believe that the platform will become better to develop only 3D content as the glasses probably don't have buttons.

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Who do you see winning the AR battle long term? Apple investing soo much into AR I have to imagine they have big things in store down the road.


At least the short term winner will be Apple when they release their Glasses youtu.be/SfjSy6T4iE4. Right now I think NReal has the best AR glasses for consumers but I believe that Apple has something better to show.

In long term it's interesting to see who wins because there are different strategies. Magic Leap and HoloLens (also Lenovo and some others) are targeting to big enterprises probably trying to drop the production cost down and improve the devices with the money they get from there. Oculus is definitely going to create AR headset at some point but it's interesting to see how much they can take from VR and apply it to AR. It's also interesting to see the new startups who might come from no where.


I can also see ARCore from Google being an up and comer as well. I know they've tried making a push on their pixel phone, where they support iOS and Android. I can see these being more accessible now since anyone with a smartphone already has the necessary hardware to support it.

I think a better question would be what AR devices will win out going forward to have the best experience. I've seen the tech demo of Hololens 2 and Magic Leap when it was on a TED Talk. I think both of these products will lead to a different way in how we will interact with games in the world.