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What Is an Android Photo Sphere

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Android Jelly Bean 4.2 has a cool hidden feature in the Android camera. The Photo Sphere. Photo Spheres are panoramic images on steroids. You can take 360 degree images of the entire room, the entire outdoors, or just a portion. Best yet, your Photo Spheres are totally compatible with Google Plus and will display in posts and allow visitors to interact with the spheres to view them.

Note this is a feature for Android 4.2. It's still Jelly Bean, but it's an updated version that started rolling out to some phones in October. The previous version didn't have Photo Sphere as a feature. Nexus users should have access sooner than other phones, which typically have to have the device manufacturers modify Android before pushing out releases. That includes Nexus Galaxy phones and the Nexus 4 phone (if you can get one - as I am writing this, those phones are sold out within minutes when they are periodically restocked on Google Play). I'm sure that is a situation that will change after Christmas 2012

To take a Photo Sphere:

  1. Go to the camera. Tap on the camera icon and pick the item that looks like a small globe with a panorama stretched over it. That's the Photo Sphere mode.
  2. Take a picture as normal.
  3. Keep your camera steady.
  4. You should see a message to align your camera with the blue dot. Tilt your camera up, down, left, or right slowly to match the center of the screen with the blue dot for the next area. The picture will snap automatically when you get there.
  5. Keep going for as long as you wish to take as many images as possible and make your complete Photo Sphere.
  6. Note - this may look a little weird if you try to take pictures of people, since they tend to move between shots. Landscapes and interior shots are your best bets. 

Share your photo to Google+, and everyone who has access to view your post will enjoy your work.


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