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How to make a 360 degree Photos Sphere on the Google Pixel

Step-by-step instructions for creating Photo Sphere images on Google Pixel phones.
By
October 27, 2022

Google Pixel phones are capable of capturing 360-degree photos using a feature called Photo Sphere. It allows you to capture a scene or location in its entirety and view it later as if you are standing right there.

Google introduced the ability to capture Photo Sphere images with Android Jelly Bean back in 2012. The Nexus 4 was the first device to support the feature, but back then, processing speeds on phones weren’t all that great. As a result, it took a really long time to capture good Photo Sphere images from Android phones.

Fast forward to 2022, and Photo Sphere works seamlessly on all of Google’s Pixel phones. So how can you make a 360-degree Photos Sphere on the Google Pixel? Scroll below for all the answers and some tips for capturing great Photo Sphere photos.

Read more: All the Pixel-exclusive features you need to know about

QUICK ANSWER

The Photo Sphere feature on Google Pixel phones is available in the Camera app. Once you open the camera on your Pixel phone, you can scroll through the options at the bottom of the screen and find Photo Sphere in the “Modes" tab. Once you select the feature, you can start creating a 360-degree Photo Sphere image by moving the camera along in a circle at different angles or wherever you want to photograph the scene before you. Tap the check mark button below once you are done capturing your Photo Sphere photo.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to make a 360-degree Photo Sphere on the Google Pixel

Every Pixel phone comes with the Photo Sphere feature baked into the Camera app. Once you open the app, you can navigate to the “Modes” tab in the bottom menu. When you reach there, you’ll see the Photo Sphere option. Tap it to get your Pixel ready to capture the Photo Sphere, and follow the steps below to start making a 360-degree image.

  • Once you select the Photo Sphere option from the camera modes, you’ll see a square in the middle of the screen with a small circle inside.
  • You can tap the down arrow on the top left corner of the screen to choose the type of Photo Sphere you want to capture.
  • You can choose to capture horizontal, vertical, wide-arc, or fisheye photos. Select the relevant icon and tap the down arrow once again to return to the screen with the square and circle.
  • Tap the shutter button to start the process.
  • Now hold the target circle over a white dot. The dot will turn blue, then disappear.
  • Move the camera to the next white dot as you hold the lens steady.
  • Repeat until there are no more white dots, or tap the checkmark when you are done.

How can I view and share my Photo Sphere photos?

You can share Photo Sphere images clicked with your Google Pixel using all the sharing options available when sharing regular photos. However, not all platforms support viewing 360-degree images. Before we get to that, check out the process of sharing Photo Sphere images below.

  • Open the Google Photos app.
  • Long press and select the image which has the Photo Sphere icon (a head wearing VR goggles) next to it.
  • Now tap the sharing button on the top of your screen and send the image in Google Photos to one of your contacts or share it through any of your apps.

Coming back to how you can view Photo Sphere pictures. The best way to see a Photo Sphere is to view it in Google Photos. Some apps like Facebook also support 360-degree Photo Sphere images.

To see a Photo Sphere on your Pixel or any other phone, open it in the Google Photos app. You can then move your finger along the screen to see the complete picture and its different angles. The app can also display the image in VR view, matching the movement of the captured scene to the phone’s accelerometer. This way, you can rotate and tilt the image while looking at it.

Photo Sphere view screenshot
Photo Sphere viewing options

To do this, select the Photo Sphere image in Google Photos and tap the circled icon at the bottom left of the screen. You can also see Photo Sphere images using a mobile VR headset by tapping the VR icon on the bottom right of the screen.

Tips to take the best Photo Sphere photos

You can follow certain best practices when clicking a Photo Sphere using your Pixel.

  • Hold the phone close to your body.
  • Hold your phone vertically and at eye level.
  • To get the full 360-degree effect, complete at least four more rotations tilting your camera in different angles.
  • Take two rotations with your camera tilted upwards and two rotations tilted downwards.
  • Avoid people in the scene as they would appear to be stretched.

Read more: The best camera phones you can get right now

FAQs

Yes, the Photo Sphere feature is available on all Google Pixel phones.

Photo Sphere images are saved as .jpg files. They display as static images in devices and apps that don’t support viewing 360-degree photos.