photosphere

This app was actually launched some time last week for iOS and quite a while before that for Android.  It came to our attention late last week though and after a weekend of giving it a go – it’s definitely worthy of our App of the Week slot.  It’s called Photosphere and it comes from Google directly (hence the long availability on Android) and as you may guess from the name – it’s for creating full 360 degree photo spheres.  

Quite a bit different from the iOS panorama view, Photosphere lets you connect your photo up at both ends, then add a bit below and a bit above what you can see at eye level.  It works by moving around slowly, in a full rotation on the spot, pointing your phone at blue dots that appear on the screen.  If that all sounds a little bit confusing – take a look at this guide from the Google Maps team.

Once you’ve finished taking your photo, it will start panning automatically inside the app or you can swipe left and right to move the camera around yourself.

If you’re wondering why Google Maps are making the instructional video for a photo app, it’s because Photosphere is designed to be uploaded directly to Google Maps, letting other people find what the world immediately around your current location looks like.  It’s sort of Google’s way of getting people to conduct their own Street View, from locations where Street View cars might not be able to get.

Of course you don’t have to just publish your sphere to Google Maps, you can share it to your Google +, Facebook, Twitter feeds or just email it to your friends.

It may sound a little bit gimmicky, and to be honest it is a little bit, but it’s a lot of fun to get a photo of the world around you in full 360.  I find Apple’s panorama camera a little bit too fiddly to use – the end of my photo’s always ends up with a black blur on the bottom where I’ve not held the camera still for long enough.  Google Photosphere’s blue dots takes that hassle away, making it really simple to get photo’s of the world around you.