Photospheres are great — in theory. In practice, we often have a tough time getting it right. Sometimes, it’s not even our fault, either. We stand still, we rotate slowly, but there are still half clouds or people who’s right arm sits over their left leg.
That’s all set to change with Android 4.4, though. According to Googler Evan Rapoport, the stitching for Photospheres is changing in the next iteration of Android. The stitching is what binds those various pics together, and what often makes them look just a bit off. Now, the software will actually give us a helping hand when stitching, not just do it for us.
The new process is called “optimal seam finding”, in which your device will actually scan the pic, and the others you took, to find out just where the pic should go together. Essentially, your camera software is examining the pics, and identifying two objects that should match up correctly. The team has also made the stitching faster by using a multi-threading protocol.
This doesn’t mean we can slack when taking photospheres, but it should help in those situations where you’ve done your job, only to have the sphere ruined by stitching. Photospheres are already a really cool leap forward, so it’s exciting to see such a timely fix for one of the few things holding it back.