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The Pixel 8 lacks a camera mode Google offered since 2012

Photo Sphere Mode was far from perfect, but this is still a notable omission.
By

Published onOctober 11, 2023

Photo Sphere mode on the Pixel 7 Pro.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has confirmed that the Photo Sphere Mode has been dropped from the Pixel 8 line.
  • The Pixel maker didn’t reveal a reason why it ditched this camera feature.

Google Pixel phones have long had a so-called Photo Sphere Mode, allowing users to take 360-degree images. Unfortunately, the feature has been dropped from the Pixel 8 series.

Google confirmed to Android Authority that Photo Sphere Mode was dropped from the new Pixel phones. The company declined to elaborate on a reason for this decision.

Photo Sphere Mode allowed you to capture panoramic 360-degree pictures by stitching multiple images together. The feature was first introduced back in 2012 on the Nexus 4 and persisted well into the Pixel era, with the likes of the Pixel Fold and Pixel 7a still offering it.

The act of capturing a Photo Sphere wasn’t exactly seamless owing to the sheer number of images required, although it had an admittedly intuitive UI. Significant stitching issues and exposure/white balance differences were also very common.

Will you miss Photo Sphere Mode?

2834 votes

We’re therefore not surprised Google has decided to drop the feature. Even without taking the aforementioned issues into account, the mode’s utility seemed limited beyond some scenarios like mapping purposes (e.g. viewing environments in Google Maps) and VR. In saying so, we hope the company rebounds with a more polished take on 360-degree photos in the future.

There’s plenty of room for improvement too, such as the stitching and white balance/exposure problems. Google should also let you use the ultrawide rear camera if it resurrects Photo Sphere Mode, so you need to capture fewer shots to complete the sphere.

It’s also curious to see Google skipping this feature ahead of the launch of a VR headset in conjunction with Samsung and Qualcomm. So Pixel 8 owners wanting to take 360-degree photos to view on this future headset will need to use a third-party app.

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