Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) integrates computer-generated virtual objects with physical environments for mobile devices. MAR systems enable users to interact with MAR devices, such as smartphones and head-worn wearables, and performs seamless transitions from the physical world to a mixed world with digital entities. These MAR systems support user experiences by using MAR devices to provide universal accessibility to digital contents. Over the past 20 years, a number of MAR systems have been developed, however, the studies and design of MAR frameworks have not yet been systematically reviewed from the perspective of user-centric design. This article presents the first effort of surveying existing MAR frameworks (count: 37) and further discusses the latest studies on MAR through a top-down approach: 1) MAR applications; 2) MAR visualisation techniques adaptive to user mobility and contexts; 3) systematic evaluation of MAR frameworks including supported platforms and corresponding features such as tracking, feature extraction plus sensing capabilities; and 4) underlying machine learning approaches supporting intelligent operations within MAR systems. Finally, we summarise the development of emerging research fields, current state-of-the-art, and discuss the important open challenges and possible theoretical and technical directions. This survey aims to benefit both researchers and MAR system developers alike.