The new Google Street View app (formerly Google Photo Sphere Camera App) has recently been updated to add Google Cardboard support. The app allows the user to take 360 panorama photos with their iOS or Android phones, upload the images to Google Street View and share their panoramic photos with the world.
Previously the UI would only allow for manual panning in the browser or by moving the phone, but this new update adds the ability to just tap the cardboard icon and view the images in split screen for use with Google Cardboard enabled headsets.
VR headset support for Google content has been hinted at and in development, but up until now, has not really been easily accessible as a standard feature. This update is one of the first cross platform features made public that allows for easy viewing using VR headsets.
The new Google Cardboard feature is fast and smooth and really gives you a feeling of being back in the moment. The only thing missing was the sound of wind and sheep.
The photos above show a pano image I uploaded last month while on vacation in the North Coast of Germany. Using the app to take photos is really easy and, in my opinion, one of the best apps I have seen so far for creating 360 photo spheres. Just tap the camera icon and start snapping images until you have a complete set of panoramic shots.
Once the shots are completed, the app stitches the images together relatively quickly (despite a few blurry panels) and uploading to Street View is easy as well, although a bit time consuming via mobile due to the size of the image and connectivity.
One feature I would really like to see added would be the ability to go back and retake the images that are blurry. Currently the app does not allow for that. Once you let the images process, you just have to take what you get when it is finished.
Despite the occasional blurring issue, in my opinion, this app is one of the best “all in one” mobile VR content creation and browsing tools available. It is a joy to use and really takes creating and consuming content to a new level.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.