Photo Sphere for Android 4.2 is like Microsoft Photosynth

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 30, 2012
Updated • Oct 4, 2018
Google Android, Image

If you use the digital camera built in to your smartphone to record the moment, you have two main options to do so. You can shot single photos of a scene or record a video.

What I liked so much about Microsoft Photosynth is that it is a program that creates a larger panoramic image from a number of photos taken that depict the same scene.

You basically take a lot of photos, preferably all in the right angle, and use the software afterward to stitch them together to create a larger photo. Ideal for creating panoramic images, it can also be used to create 360 images and more.

Photo Sphere

Google is bringing Photosynth to Android. The company calls it Photo Sphere, but it is basically the same thing. The app displays a three dimensional room to you when you start it.

You fill that room by taking photos from the scene and the application displays the resulting image right on the screen as it fills up the empty space. The gray areas in the room indicate areas that you still need to take a photo of to complete the panorama.

You start with a single photo and go from there.

You add photos to the image, which may not look aligned at all at first, but that's only before the app starts the processing.

photo sphere

The panorama gets rendered in the end once you are finished taking the photos. The different photo angles get aligned properly in the process so that it is less likely that you can spot transitions between two photos on the panorama.

It is probably best to take a look at the app in a video as it is better suited for a demonstration. Below is Google's official demo video of the Photo Sphere feature.

Photo Spheres that you create with your phone are stored as jpeg files, with the information required to view them stored as XML data in the image itself. Images can be published on Google+ or Google Maps, and probably also other locations. This remains to be seen once Android 4.2 rolls out though.

Note: The default camera app on recent versions of Android includes a Panorama option to create panoramic images using it.

It is interesting to note that Photo Sphere is not the first app for mobile devices of its kind. 360 Panorama for instance is available for Apple devices and on the Android store, Microsoft Photosynth for iOS and Windows Phone. Those are solid options if your phone does not get the upgrade to Android 4.2 any time soon - or at all.

I do like the new feature and think that it can be a great addition for Android users who like to take more than snapshots with their phones. The option to publish the results on Google Maps can be interesting for businesses, travel agencies, hotels and individuals as well.

Article Name
Photo Sphere for Android 4.2 is like Microsoft Photosynth
Google revealed Photo Sphere in Android 4.2 that lets users take multiple photos of a scene to create panorama images using the built-in photos app.
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  1. Ken Saunders said on January 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I read your article for JPEG & PNG Stripper (tried the program), and that seems to work pretty well.

    I don’t use (as far as I know) any of CNET’s sites or services any longer.

    Metability Software’s website >
    Metability ® QuickFix for Microsoft Windows® ( previously known as FileMind® QuickFix)

    I downloaded it, but I haven’t installed it.

    Thanks for the info and article.
    See, I don’t just come here for the Firefox content.

    One more thing, I like being logged in here and not having to fill in info to comment. :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      The reason why I did not post the site link directly was that Bitdefender blocked the site for me. That’s also the reason why I wrote today’s second article, ha ;)

      1. Ken Saunders said on January 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm


  2. GK said on January 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I use Imagemagick’s Mogrify from the command line.

  3. Design Instinct said on January 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Photo Demon is a cool portable image editor/batch processor. It has a default setting in options to strip some or all of the EXIF data. Once set, you don’t have to remember to strip your data each time.

    Version 6.2 is coming out soon. You can test out the beta. He’s getting rid of the MDI interface.
    Also going to be fixing a bug with high DPI mice. 6.2 crashed on me due to this.

    6.0 is rock solid though. Very nice program.

    Martin, you may want to review it.

  4. ozone333 said on February 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    The download link from CNET only provides a stub installer. The way I used to get the actual file without the stub installer was to go to .

  5. webfork said on May 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    FileOptimizer also zaps JPEG and PNG metadata: … as well as cutting down dramatically on file size.

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