Apple Releases ‘For All Mankind’ AR App, Letting Fans Delve Into Space-Race Drama Backstory

Apple has launched its first augmented-reality app for an original Apple TV Plus series, “For All Mankind,” taking fans back to 1980 in a nostalgia trip to promote the upcoming season 2 premiere of the alternative-history space drama.

The free “For All Mankind: Time Capsule” app lets users explore artifacts in the decade that elapses between the first and second seasons of the show — to reveal memories from the perspective of Danny Stevens, son of NASA astronaut couple Gordo and Tracy Stevens. The show, from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the space race between the U.S. and the USSR had never ended.

Apple released the app ahead of the premiere of Season 2 of “For All Mankind,” set to debut globally with the first episode on Feb. 19 followed by a weekly release schedule for the remaining nine episodes.

The AR app features an array of period-piece objects that fill in the show’s backstory, including a mixtape (which “unveils how young love first began”), a newspaper, an answering machine, a slide projector and a VHS tape.

Naturally, Apple plays up the nostalgia angle for its own classic Apple II — the company’s first personal computer — which makes an appearance in Season 2 of “For All Mankind.” In the AR app, you can play a text-based space adventure game called “Crater Quest” on the Apple II and also read “D-mail” messages between Danny and his friend Kelly that “hold secrets of the teens’ changing lives,” per Apple.

In addition, on devices that have a depth-sensing LiDAR scanner — including iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPad Pro — users can projects Stevens family photos on any wall via the slide projector in the app.

“AR presents a new and exciting opportunity to bring the world of ‘For All Mankind’ literally into the homes of the audience in a way that hasn’t been possible before,” Moore, the show’s creator and executive producer, said in a statement. “Using this technology allows the audience to immerse themselves into the series by interacting with objects, people and media in an impactful and meaningful way that will bring them even closer to world we’ve created.”

“For All Mankind: Time Capsule” currently is available as a free download from the App Store for iPhone or iPad in the U.S. Apple says the app will be available in more regions later this month.

Apple TV Plus is available for $4.99 per month; the company also gives buyers of new Apple devices free 12-month access to the streaming service. In addition, users who already signed up for the free offer will have gratis access to Apple TV Plus through July 2021. The tech giant hasn’t disclosed how many Apple TV Plus subscribers it has, but analysts estimate the majority of them currently don’t pay for it.

“For All Mankind” is executive produced by Moore, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert alongside Maril Davis of Tall Ship Productions and Nichole Beattie, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson. The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Watch the trailer for “For All Mankind: Time Capsule”:

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