Google outs more information on Android 4.2 Photo Spheres

October 29, 2012
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So, Google has finally pulled the veil off Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and somewhat surprisingly, it will arrive packing a bunch of new features. One of the coolest of these new features are photo spheres, which allow you to use your device's camera to snap pictures all around you and bring them together to make one big 360-degree image. We briefly touched on photo spheres in our quick rundown of the new features in Android 4.2, but now Google's Hugo Barra has dished all sorts of new details about the rather intriguing addition.

Barra is touting this new feature as a way to "create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device," and frankly, we believe him. The team at Google was inspired by Street View in Google Maps, so if you've ever wanted to create Street View-esque images of your own, now's your chance.

Funny Google should mention Street View, since you can upload these photo spheres you take with your device to Google Maps. Barra says that photo spheres are saved as JPEGs, and that "all of the information required to view them is embedded as open XML metadata in the image itself." This means that aside from uploading these images to Street View, you can also email them and upload them to Google Plus, letting others view them with no problems.

All in all, the photo spheres feature sounds like a great addition to Android, and it's just one of the many additions to Android 4.2. The first devices that will be running Android 4.2 are the new Samsung Nexus 10 and the LG Nexus 4, which will be available in just a couple of weeks. Get excited folks, because Android 4.2 is going to be offering a bunch of new stuff when it arrives next month.


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  • The_Maverick

    I’m very surprised that no one seems to know Microsoft’s Photosynth app (on iOs), which has been out for years and does exactly this.

    So you shouldn’t really believe him when he sais that it allows you to “create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device.”

  • pllopis

    “create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device,”

    Yeah right. I guess they have never seen 360 Panorama. The Android version is a bit sucky though, I think it’s just a crappy port from iOS, because the app works beautifully in an iPad 3. This is perfect for me because it would offer me the same on an Android device. :)

  • josh

    these are jpeg images you are outputting that don’t need a special viewer to read. I used photosynth a year or 2 ago but found it cumbersome and difficult to share. This sounds much friendlier.

  • Esben Gaarsmand

    You’ve been able to take panorama on android for a while (here is a description of how: http://support.google.com/android/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1753571) The cool new thing about this is that it’s regular jpg and it’s more than just a regular panorama, its a fully f****** sphere… also it’s shareable to google maps/streetview.