Google has just announced that YouTube now supports 360-degree video, for both uploading and watching. These new videos are only watchable on the Android app and through embedded videos in Chrome, though the company says iOS support is coming in the future. For right now, there are only a small handful of 360-degree videos available, but more will come with time.
If you’re reading this from your computer, take a look at the video above. You can click and drag to pan around the video and see everything around you. But the real magic happens when you load this video up on your Android device. You can pan around just by simply moving your device, which will give you just about the closest experience to virtual reality without having to put on a headset.
To make it easy for folks to upload their videos to YouTube, Google has been working with a number of 360-degree camera makers across the industry to make the videos compatible with YouTube. And if you’d like to upload your own video, Google has provided a script that you can run to ensure your video has the correct metadata. In the future, the company hopes to make this process automatic.
These videos are incredibly fun to watch on an Android device, even though the quality is pretty poor. How are you liking the new 360-degree feature? Are you a fan?