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Google announces Photo Sphere panoramic camera

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Google had planned a Nexus event for today in New York City, but a little hurricane named Sandy put that on hold. We’re guessing the Windows Phone 8 team, who are also holding an event today in San Francisco, are a bit relieved by the news. However, Google will not be stopped completely. The company still managed to get out some of its Nexus news minutes before the Windows Phone 8 event started. If you couldn’t tell, the mobile phone game is a competitive one. Posting on the Google Official Blog, the company announced its new line of Android devices with three new Nexus products in small, medium, and large sizes.

Running Google’s newest flavor of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the phones offer a slew of new features, one of which we think will be particularly appealing to consumers. It’s called Photo Sphere, and it’s basically a Google Street View app for your phone. Photo Sphere lets users capture larger images that put panoramic photos to shame. Not only does the feature let you pan left and right, like normal panoramic cameras (like the one offered in the iPhone 5 and iOS 6), but it also lets you snap shots up, down, and in every direction, creating a 360-degree photographic representation of what you’re actually seeing.

According to Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management of Android at Google, the Photo Spheres are stored as JPEG files, and the information needed to view them is embedded as open XML metadata in the image, so you can email it, share it on Google+, store them in your Google+ photo albums, or add your Photo Sphere to Google Maps for everyone to see. Is this a way for Google to improve its Street View photos? Check out the video below to see how Photo Sphere works.