Yesterday while perusing Google+, I saw a new post from the Google Maps team announcing that a new app, Photosphere Camera, was now available for iOS users. In 2012 Google announced a new service within Google Maps, called Views, which allowed users to upload their own 360 degree photospheres of any location. However, this feature was limited mainly to users of the Android system which had the functionality built in to their cameras.
I experimented with a few iOS alternatives, namely Photosynth and 360 Panorama. I was impressed with the functionality of the apps but was disappointed by either the end result or the limitations within the app itself. Further, many of the previous photosphere apps on iOS charged a small price for their product.
I was eager to try the new free app from Google and was immediately impressed by a) the ease use and b) the end product. The ability to upload directly to Google Maps is just the icing on the cake.
Here’s an example photosphere I made in my neighborhood with my iPhone 5s. The quality is not significantly better than what we’re seeing from the street car’s cameras, but the ability to make these 360 degree panoramas anywhere is what makes this app a gem.
Download Photosphere Camera for free on iTunes store.