Apple’s iPhone can take panoramic pictures and thanks to a new Google app, it can now take 360-degree images as well. Photo Sphere Camera, a free download in the iTunes App Store, brings what used to be an Android-only feature to iOS. Here’s an example of an Android-generated photosphere where my fave football club, Liverpool FC, plays:
TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez first reported on the app’s launch Tuesday, noting that the software can create Street View-like images using an iPhone or iPad. Photo Sphere Camera lets you share the immersive photos by email, to social networks or Google Maps. Indeed, by making the app available to a wider audience, Google’s own Maps product stands to gain in the form of additional user-generated content.
I’ve used Android phones to create photospheres in the past and have found the results to be quite good. They provide a full view in every direction, handy for visualizing a key event or memory. The software works similarly to the panoramic view in iOS, but instead of a linear view, you take a picture from every possible angle: Snap a pic and a dot will appear out of the frame. By moving the phone in the direction of the dot — the app uses the Apple iPhone’s sensors to track position — you snap the next part of your photosphere, and repeat the process until you’ve captured an entire 360-degree view.
I’m a bit surprised that Google is just now releasing the app for iOS since nearly every other Google app available on Android can be had on an iPhone. In fact, I’ve said previously that it’s quite easy to be a die-hard Google services user on Apple’s hardware and this just makes it even easier if you’re a photosphere fan.