Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Photo Sphere for Android

During the last week, I have been testing out the new Photo Sphere on Android. It was a new addition to the 4.2 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Although it has a few limitations, the overall experience is great! I tried using it at home and randomly creating spheres. I decided to try it outdoors, where it would show its true potential. It took a couple of days for me to actually end up using it! I realized there are very few places you actually need to use the feature. Usually, you can either take a picture or a panorama and you're done. You only would want to do a 360 degrees sphere, when you have the time to stand (and rotate) in one place. You also need to be in a place with less crowds, so they don't interfere with it.

I tried taking one at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. For some reason, it ended up rendering it as an abstract photo, rather than a sphere!

Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN

I think it had a tough time with the alignment since there were so many people walking around. Then, I tried taking a photo sphere in a park with all the Christmas lights displayed.

Rice Park in St Paul, MN

Apparently, the photo sphere can only be displayed on Google+ or on the phone. Above is a panorama of the sphere. The actual photo sphere can be found here. For some reason, the sphere ended up upside-down! I tried rotating it 180 degrees but the phone automatically converted it to a panorama. You can change colors, but cannot do any rotation on the sphere. With a few Google searches, it seemed apparent that no one has mentioned anything about this. Except for the lack of the rotation ability, I found the Photo Sphere to be a really good experience! Hopefully, there will be more opportunities to create spheres, and more online services to share them on!