Improved photospheres will make their way to Android 4.3

July 25, 2013
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Photosphere Android 4.3 Evan Rapoport

If photospheres are one of your favorite things about Android Jelly Bean, I’m right there with you. Taking a 360-degree shot is one of the coolest things about Android, and really sets it apart from other cameras on other platforms.

If photospheres are also one of your biggest annoyances with Android Jelly Bean, I’m right there with you. The photos don’t stitch together properly, and they often seem like you took them too fast or slow. It’s great when you get it right, but when you don’t, it’s an embarrassing headache.

Evan Rapoport, a project manager for Google Maps, announced today via a Google+ post that photospheres are greatly improved in Android 4.3. Stitching would be cleaner, and overall clarity will improve. From the post:

First, alignment and stitching are much better, giving you more level horizons and fewer errors throughout the image. While environments with lots of moving things are always challenging, scenes like the one attached here with a long flat horizon are now much better. Second, we've improved exposure compensation for each individual frame, producing a beautifully exposed photo sphere. You can compare this to the previous versions that produced gray areas and inconsistent coloring in areas of high contrast (near the sun, horizons, buildings against blue sky, etc.).

All necessary and welcome changes, really. Google is keen to have us share great pictures via Google+, and this is a big help in that regard. Now we’ll be anticipating the 4.3 update even more!

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