Android 4.2 Introduces Major New Feature: Photo Sphere

The recently released iPhone 5 features a slick panorama mode and while Android phones have had a similar mode for years, Google has updated the feature to better compete with Apple’s smartphone, called it Photo Sphere and taken it to a whole new level for functionality and ease of use.

It lets you take pictures in any direction you want, without much regard to how the pictures are going to be combined into a panorama. To make the panoramic photo, the software then intelligently works out the overlapping areas of many photos and stiches them together, with zero effort from the user! The user can then navigate round the resulting picture, making for a highly immersive experience. The video below shows Photo Sphere in action. Finally, Android 4.2 also keeps the Jelly Bean name.

With Android 4.2, users can snap pictures in every direction, and the system does the stitching. What you’re left with are photos that can be navigated, taking viewers “inside of the scene”. Photo Spheres are stored as JPEG files, and all of the information required to view them is embedded as open XML metadata in the image itself. You’ll be able to peek ‘em on your phone or share them easily through Google+, and perhaps best of all, publish them to Google Maps for the world to see.

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