Google’s app Photo Sphere lets anyone take 360-degree shots of your location and publish them on Google Street View or social media. The app gives you a tutorial on how to take the perfect panorama and when you’re done, you have a nice, little animated clip that pans from left to right across the scene. Google has an entire collection of these lovely panoramas taken by photo enthusiasts all over the globe.
Originally, Google introduced the Photo Sphere app on the company’s Nexus smartphones before moving on to all Android smartphones. Now, the app has finally arrived on iOS, so iPhone users can contribute to Google’s gallery of panoramas.
Once you download the app, all you have to do is open it, let Google access your location, and tap the bright orange camera icon in the lower right corner. Then, a viewfinder will appear, showing you the scene you are about to capture. The app instructs you on how to hold your camera and tells you to focus in on the orange circle in the center of the viewfinder. The Photo Sphere camera will then capture that portion of the scene and the orange circle will turn green.
The process repeats itself, as you move in a circle, taking in your surroundings. You’ll have to pause every now and then to locate and focus on the roving orange dot. The app will tell you if you’re going to fast or too slow, so as to capture the best 360-degree view possible. You can also move the camera up and down, so as to add more of the scene to the sphere.
If you so choose, you can publish the sphere you’ve just shot to the Google Maps Views community. You also have the option to share the view on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Perhaps the coolest thing of all is that if you decide to publish your shot, Google might actually use it in Google Maps Street View. In other words, you might actually help someone scope out an area or get from point A to point B on Google Maps.
You can download the Google Photo Sphere Camera app on the iOS App Store.