360 Panorama App: Review
Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful and wished that you can show your friends and family what it was like, but the standard pictures…
Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful and wished that you can show your friends and family what it was like, but the standard pictures just won't do it justice? The 360 Panorama app for iPhone and iPod Touch may have taken one tiny step towards changing that. As you can tell by the name this app is designed to allow users take a 360 degree panoramic picture of wherever they are and share them. The image is similar to virtual tours on the web where you can only move left or right, completing a circle. 360 Panorama is available in the app store for $0.99
When you start the app it detects how much light there is and tells you how to move the iPhone camera accordingly, for instance "low light-pause periodically". Now your ready to start shooting your panoramic photo. A small rectangle shows up with what is in view of the iPhone camera in front of a 360 degree grid, like the image below. You are prompted to move left or right and your image slowly replaces the grey grid until you have completed a full circle. Once you are done you can view the image in two modes 360 view or stereographic (which shows your image in a in a completed circle). You can also choose whether you want to email it, tweet it or just save it, which it automatically does in the camera roll as one very long image.
Although 360 Panorama does something amazing, and does a great job at creating the 360 degree image, its usability could definitely use a lot of work. When starting the application the only option you have is to shoot the 360 degree picture, where you should be able to decide whether you want to look through your old pictures or start a new image. Another problem is sharing your picture. In order to open the picture up with the 360 degree view on a mobile phone the person your are sharing it with must also have the 360 Panorama app, which greatly limits those who you can share it with. You can send the image easily as just a plain panoramic photo (one long photo). If you want someone to experience the 360 degree view you must send them a link, but the only way to do that is to click the "share it on twitter" button which gives you a url, where you can either tweet it, or copy and paste it somewhere else. The link brings you to the image hosted on the 360 Panorama website where you can actually move left or right in and experience the image with 360 degree views.
The app does what it advertises and is definitely worth getting at $0.99. We did not find any problems with its capabilities of taking pictures or rendering them into a 360 degree view. We did though find many problems with its usability which makes it harder to navigate through the application and share your photos. This app in its entirety will go from good-to-great once its features are updated and it is easier to use.