What is Android Photo Sphere?

Features 09:23, 30 Oct 2012

Android launched version 4.2 Jelly Bean with a host of new features including Photo Sphere, but what exactly is Photo Sphere?

Googl e announced Photo Sphere as one of the highlight features of Android 4.2, but what is Photo Sphere?

What it does

Photo Sphere allows you to take a 360 degree photo of your surroundings, like those you see on Google's Streetmaps.

You can then share the pictures with your friends or upload them to Google Maps. We would describe it as Google crowdsourcing its next version of Google Streemaps.

How it works

Like a panorama shot, you're told to take a photo to start the process off. The Photo Sphere function will then guide you around your surroundings with dots representing where you need to take your next shot.

As you take the photos, they're all instantly stitched together to make one vista.

As you can probably imagine and if you've used panorama mode before, you may experience little hiccups (a person with three arms for example, if they move their arm between frames), but the effects really are pretty amazing if you're accurate enough and nothing moves, of course.

This video from LG Spain shows you exactly how it works:

What's the point?

Photo Sphere does seem just like an extra little gimmick, but we can see ourselves getting quite carried away with it when we get a review sample of the Nexus 4 in the office.

The ability to upload to Google Maps is a nice addition, although we wonder how well it'll be regulated. After all, we don't want another panic scenario where Google has to remove all faces/inappropriate situations, do we?

You can of course share with your friends and social networks, as you can with other photos taken on an Android 4.2 device using the Instant Upload function, but we're pretty sure they results will be massive files, so you may want to check your data plan before sending out for all the world to see.

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