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Photo Sphere: capturing the world around you

We just announced new Nexus devices and Android 4.2 to the world – and one of my favorite features is Photo Sphere. With the 4.2 Camera app, Photo Sphere lets you create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device. 

We were inspired by Street View in Google Maps, and the sophisticated pieces of equipment that Google custom-developed in order to bring you 360-degree photos from all over the world – cars, trikes, and even backpacks. 

Photo Spheres make you feel like you’re really there. When you're snapping a photo sphere, you can move in every direction, you can look up, you can look down, every detail from the original scene is just there.

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. So you can email them, post them to Google+, put them in Google+ photo albums. Check it out and also check out all of our Nexus news.
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147 comments
 
I finally switched to the Galaxy Nexus about 2 months ago, and now I feel obligated to get the Nexus 4!
 
Google just rocks, there is nothing else to say! Awesome work!!! Thank you! 
 
God work! 
Traga o nexus 10 para Portugal rapidamente, quero comprar 1!!! X)
 
Hugo, quando os Nexus virão para o brasil?
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Fantastic!!! Waiting for Nexus in Portugal....
 
Whoa that is so cool! Can't wait to play with it on my Galaxy Nexus! :D
 
Maybe now apple will ditch that stupid cheeeeeese advert...
 
Great! Any dates when the Galaxy Nexus will be updated to 4.2?
 
Will Photo Sphere come with a 4.2 update to the Galaxy Nexus or is it exclusive for the new Nexus 4?
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You please me so much with this feature! 
 
It is part of 4.2? Bummer. That means it will come to devices like the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon two years from now when they likely will get around to pushing 4.2 :-( 
 
check out 360 Panorama in the Apple App Store.... very similar
 
+Hugo Barra  Why no +Verizon Wireless  on the +Nexus 4 ? Very disappointing. I am a huge Google fan and it is a blow below the belt for me not to be able to get this new Google phone. Why are you guys doing this ?
 
Mo les quedo otra que dar a conocer todo hoy, porque con todas las filtraciones ya nada iba a ser sorpresa
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+Mordy Festinger, Google wants to get their products in every carrier but it's most likely either a deal struck with other carrriers or Verizon has not struck a deal with Google considering the Nexus 4.  The decision isn't always in Google's hands.  Maybe in the future.
 
Holy.... f...... yes, this will be popular! 
 
Nothing new here.
Microsoft PhotoSynth for Android = Photo Sphere
 
I am watching the video with this GREAT new feature, and i cant get out of my mind Tim Cook presentation of the AWESOME "Panoramical" feature... jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! As Diego Maradona said: "LTA Cook!!!"
 
This is an awesome feature.  And I am glad you guys went ahead with releasing the product information instead making us wait for a reschedule.  It really didn't matter though since all the info was widely leaked already.  I personally, was hoping for some sort of surprise with the releases.  Something we didn't see coming.  Maybe Google can find a way to get a grip on the leaks and make it more interesting for some of us die hard fans.  Or fake leaks or something to throw leakers off the trail!!!!!!
 
Is the xml format documented anywhere? And are there any example images to play with?
 
i hope 4.2 will be available to galaxy nexus..
 
MIND BOGLING.............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but....is this exclusive to NEX4 or any JB 4.2 running phone???
 
This is amazing that this is part of stock Android now! Thanks team +Android!
 
Hey +Hugo Barra, still no Google Play content (music, movies) in #Brazil? I was hoping it would be announced today :(

Your home country wants some more Google-love, don't we deserve it? :)
 
Please start selling Nexus devices in India via +Google Play . You mentioned in your IO keynote that India is one of the fastest growing markets and still we got Nexus S after about 9 months and did not get Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7.
 
hugo this is something really really awsum
 
sometime from now photosphere will be ported to other devices .. thanks in advance to XDA devs !!
 
Why no Verizon Wireless? Most likely they didn't want to make an LTE version of the Nexus 4 and I think Verizon said they would want every new phone coming out on their network to be LTE enabled.
 
sucks, this is just a copy of Microsoft PhotoSynth
 
빨리 출시해주세요. 현기증 난단 말이에요
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+Hugo Barra  please pass message to your colleagues.
About availability of Nexus devices: we have Nexus 7 in Russia. But it was launched only in October 2012. And price is ... $300 !
I just hope that Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 would be available in Russia, and - hopefully - via Google Play!
I don't want to pay extra 50% on top of Google prices to vendors, just becasue Gofole Play doesn't work in Russia.
 
That is effing cool!!!  To me this is a killer feature and big differentiator between google and the competition.  Really great stuff.
 
Street view camera for everyone. This is going to be great for Google Maps! Especially in areas where Android users are, but Google hasn't sent out the street team. Not to mention, this will save Google a ton of money while scaling the reach of street view exponentially.

With that said, here comes the Apple clone...
 
Nice! Looking forward to the galaxy nexus 4.2 update!
 
How many shots for a full 360x180? 

The guide for shooting the images looks handy - Is there an "advanced mode" where you can have it shoot in manual mode and take +/- N EV and get an hdr panorama? 
 
THE LO MEJOR¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
 
Hope the battery last long enough to complete the photo sequence. 
 
natural progression of panaroma.. eagerly waiting to see how it pans out in m y galaxy nexus
 
Really looking forward to this feature. Really looking forward to getting the Nexus 4 in a couple weeks! 
 
This post adds to my confusion surrounding Photo Sphere. The site for Nexus 4 suggests the feature is specific to the Nexus 4 due to hardware, but this post suggests it's a feature of 4.2, which would mean other devices will have it. Some clarification would be great.
 
Call me crazy, but I feel, my urge to spam the "check for update" button on the Nexus 7 a call for answers. Any chance we can get a release Time for 4.2? 
 
Why don't you just compute a short hd video, instead of photos, to achieve a full 360 panoramic view?
 
+Brandyn White All the video shows me is post-processing shots into a photo stitched panorama.

Utilizing the accelerometer, and gyro in a phone to auto-snap photos and render them in live 360º was first demonstrated on mobile back in 2011 by Microsoft with their Photosynth product. Having the technology come stock on a platform is what's exciting here.

+Alessio Pianesani Have you ever looked at a single frame from 30 fps footage? Typically not very clear.
 
+David Metcalfe Not using accelerometer, using computer vision (SIFT-like feature points and RANSAC to estimate a homography).  We beat photosynth to a mobile device (they added creating on the phone later), we were the first.
 
+Brandyn White I'm not sure I get what you mean by "they never created them on the phone", as Photosynth is on mobile. I also didn't say your app uses an accelerometer or gyro, if that's what you were suggesting.

Regardless, the video supplied shows a demonstrably less capable offering, though it was published earlier than even Photosynth's announcement in 2010, I'll give you that.
 
+David Metcalfe I meant that they only let you view (not create) photosynths on the phone until far after ours was released (updated previous).  Definitely Photo Sphere is more polished (it has blending, ours did not), they did a good job with the interface.  It was just a side project for us (free app), glad they settled on a similar concept.
 
E quando os novos Nexus chegam ao Brasil ??
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I have so much hope to buy Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 and get Play Store content here in Brazil soon
 
very interesting. 
unfortunately i cant see google bringing out software like photosynth that lets you make 360 panoramas from your dslr images and blend them together seamlessly. which means photoshperes wont be half as neat because there is always one or two things that the app gets wrong
 
awesome, why border what smart phone to use , just use nexus
 
Really a Awesome app. With this app release, Users in India can start uploading the Street View to Google. This will be a boon for Indian Users to view the places on Street view. Wish it be compatible with ICS too, as there are many users with ICS
 
Totally awesome. Will be nice when iPhone users get this and Apple markets it for the iPhone 6s in a few years along with Siri Now. ;)
vinay c
 
Coolest feature on android so far...!!!
 
Another differentiating factor of Android over iOS
 
Neat. But I have to say - this was available on Windows 7 & iOS through the photosynth app a long long time ago!
 
wow absolutely amazing...i would buy the new nexus 4 just for the photo sphere feature. Thank you google for keeping innovation alive. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with in the future.
 
Cool awesome way to go Google
 
All I'm gonna say is..... I just love you Google!
 
I just wondering how Google always have great innovated ideas..
they also make a nice progress.
talking about nexus 4, I absolutely choose this phone is the top line in this year, even compared with Galaxy Note 2, Nexus 4 is a more reasonable options.
 
A friend of mine just showed me something like this on his iPhone over the weekend. I hope its better than the iPhone version that does essentially the same thing. I don't think it would be hard to be better than that though, it had nasty stitches all over it.
 
is this an app that anyone with jellybean could download? or is it a nexus only thing?
Rui Mao
 
Awesome! Does Photo Shpere require gyroscope?
 
I wonder if compass mode works with this :)
 
Have you thought about how well this app will serve for documenting crime scenes (forensic science teacher here)
 
This will be available for all phones getting 4.2 I guess as few leaks on Internet suggest.. I have the leak on my S3 and it is great..
 
AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!!
 
Nov 13 I will be placing my order
 
Nov 13 I will be placing my order
 
wow i am just waitting to use in my hands
 
Hi Hugo. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't recognize your name until I saw a pic of you. I've seen you in videos demonstrating Googles products. But what drew me to your Google+ was the photo sphere images. I plan on buying the Samsung Note II (actually tomorrow, when it is released on ATT). Will it be an app available for the phones or just exclusive to the Nexus line? I been a supporter of Google  for several years now (not that it matters in this discussion).

Me: http://picasaweb.google.com/kanoneyez
 
Hi +Hugo Barra, I'm Using Galaxy S2. How can I do this using my phone?? :-?
& is there any other way to publish a panorama which i have taken using a some other digital camera?
 
hello there! I' m an italian android user since 2009 and I' m really looking forward to buying the new Nexus 4. As you might know, LG wants to sell the new phone for 599€. that' s 250€ more then the 349€ that we expected. I know that this must be boring, but A LOT of italian android users are not buying Nexus 4 anymore. I just wanted to let you know because I really like the device but I don' t want to be treated like this by one of your partners. Thanks for your attention, have a great day!
 
That's great, but where can I download it. It's not in the Google app store.
 
man, I just don't get it though. I've spent a long time trying to get pictures to line up correctly - holding the camera different ways, swiveling it and moving my body different ways - it never looks good. is there a trick to it? This really feels half-baked.
 
Whats the best method to take a Photo Sphere image? I like doing the 360 degree panorama first then filling in the top and bottom. I still cant get rid of the black holes at the very top/bottom. Blah ha
 
Bill Ahern: The image app that is being showcased here should do all the work for you. You can take manual shots though and use Microsoft ICE or Photosynth.

AJ Alcudia: Odd. Have you tried taking a vertical pan, and completing by taking the "ends" (far left & far right)? Just an idea. I don't know if it would actually work.
 
+Hugo Barra Thanks for these features. I tried them on a road trip this long weekend. Feels like work in progress. I made a public album here. PublicPanoramas | 103371234340606526031

May be you guys an blog on the best way to use photo sphere and/or enhance it in the next update.
+Bart Schuck I did try vertical pan on some of them. In most cases I tried 360 panorama and tried my best to fill the top and bottom. 
 
Hey, why the quality of viewer is so terrible? Much worse than  Street View and any of current flash panorama viewers.
I've started a community of panoramic photographers here at G+ and one of the members found a simple trick allowing to display in G+ the spherical panoramas created  in third-party software.

Here is a sample:
https://plus.google.com/photos/102920649891159359534/albums/5819189489669041857/5819206047228367538

I am sure that if Google will crank up the resolution and improve the quality of viewer it will attract a lot of active users from other places on the web where they gather now (a group of panoramic photographers on FB counts over 1500 members, spending a lot of time there).
 
É isso aí amigo  Hugo Barra ..adira a essa nossa comunidade que é onde tem a galera mais evoluída (disparado) na área dos panoramas esféricos ..juntos poderemos evoluir muito mais ...muitos de nós já colocam panoramas no Google Earth ..por isso uma parceria mais estreita no Google+ só pode fortalecer todo o mundo e muito em particular esta rede social ..que luta ( e bem ) para se consolidar num mundo onde as pessoas estão avessas a mais redes sociais .. vamos nessa juntos ..que iremos mais fortes ..abraços 
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Photo Spheres are only for google + correct?
they cannot be shared with any other media?
thank you
massimo avidano
 
To Clayton: Can't seem to find way to contact you. Checkout Microsoft ICE and Photosynth. In particular, ICE (Image Composition Editor) can take both video and stills and create pans.
 
Why can't a user upload any panoramic photo to get the pano tool on Google+?  Why is it limited to only Android?
 
I've had a Nexus 4 phone for several months and only discovered Photosphere this past week.

Since then I've become a wee bit obsessive.....It will pass, but in the meantime I'll be making a lot of photospeheres.

I've already uploaded about 30 in the past 4 days.   
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