Google has further boosted its iOS suite by launching a new camera app that allows iPhone owners to create full 360-degree panoramas.
The Photo Sphere Camera app is a free download from the App Store. Previously the functionality had been available as a feature within Google Camera app that ships on Nexus devices and can be downloaded to others via the Google Play Store.
The app gives users the opportunity to capture the full scope of their environment, allowing them to revisit interesting places at will.
When taking the panoramas, users are advised to remain stationary while holding the phone close to their body, at eye level and in portrait orientation.
Then they must follow the virtual dots around the display. By tilting and rotating the camera they're able to cover the 360-degree rotations. A couple more rotations, at a tilted angle, will allow users to cover the vertical axis as well as the horizontal. The resulting effect is like being inside a sphere, with the user at the centre.
Naturally, the 360 photos can also be shared to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the like directly from the app.
As well as the neat benefits for users, it also provides Google with some useful imagery.
Photo Sphere Camera gives users the opportunity to publish the 360-degree shot to Google Maps, which allows other users to interact with the photography, by looking up, down and all around.
The resulting interactivity offers users the same kind of experience they’ve become used to with Google Street View, but with a photo taken by someone in the moment, rather than riding around in one of Google’s camera-equipped cars.
Photo Sphere Camera is compatible with iPhone and iPad, but Google says it it optimised for the iPhone 5 and will not work with the iPhone 4S.
The app can be downloaded as of right now. You can see a quick tutorial in the video below. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.