Panorama images are clicked with an elongated field of view. In laymen term, it basically means stitching or joining multiple images to make one giant wide’ image.
Below is an example of a panorama image-:
In today’s world, camera phones are the primary image capturing device for a majority of people. Irrespective of the poor quality of images, and the lack of detail, everyone prefers camera phones because of their portability factor, and mainly because we carry our cellphones with us everywhere.
2-3 years ago, it would have been impossible to click a panorama image from your handset. However, with advancements in technology and handsets featuring faster 1 GHz processors, and oodles of RAM, capturing panorama images is not a big task for modern age smartphones. Many quality apps exist for iOS to click panorama images. However, the same cannot be said for Android. The problem with panorama images is that they are very hardware centric, and since every Android phone has a different hardware configuration, it is tough to make one app which works on a range of hardware, especially on low-end ones.
360 for Android is one slick app to click and share panorama images with your friends. The app is made by TeliportMe, which consists of only 3 highly talented people. This same team was awarded by Nvidia as the Emerging Technology Company in 2010. The app has been available in the Android Market for quite some time now, and has a pretty big user base of around 45,000+ users.
Recently, a new version of 360 was released on the Android Market which has many under-the-hood changes. I gave the app a try, and I must say I have been pretty impressed by it.
Below is a video of 360 in action :
360 uses the various sensors found in today’s high-end Android handsets, and the powerful CPU+GPU combo to click panorama images. The app makes use of the GPU instead of the CPU to stitch the images together, and because of this the images are stitched together in a very short span of time. The best part about 360 is its ability to share your panorama images online with other fellow 360 users, or your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
360 also has a public timeline which shows you the panorama images clicked by other 360 users. I spent a lot of time in seeing all the panorama images clicked by other 360 users. Thanks to the image being panoramic, you get a feeling of being physically present in that place. This one feature is what makes 360 stands out from other panorama apps on the Android Market.
Sadly, not all is perfect with the app. The images are not stitched properly all the time. However, the team behind 360 is working on this, and in the latest version the stitching errors are definitely less. Another problem with the app is the 3D image viewer. It is a bit buggy, and sometimes one light flick will be registered as a full swipe.
Thankfully, I have been in constant touch with the developer, and they have assured me that they are working hard on improving the stitching process. That said, these couple of small bugs do not deter me from recommending 360 to all Android users out there. Install the app, and have fun by just watching panorama images of unknown places, a stranger’s room or car. 360 for Android can be downloaded for free from the Android Market (link).