They’ve been keeping it as an exclusive for Android users for the last year, but today Google has finally released a version of its innovative app Photo Sphere for iOS.
The free app allows you to take a 360-degree picture by pointing your camera in the direction of several blue dots that appear on screen. Once you’ve covered as much of the area around (and above and below) you as possible, it automatically puts them together, to recreate the experience of being there. (Google’s released a video to sell you on the idea, if you want to know more about how it works.)
You can share the results with other users, and add them to Google Maps, where you can also check out the panoramas other people have shared. I’m not saying I’d want to do this instead of going on holiday, but it is a great way to see the world without leaving your desk chair. Check out these fantastic views of the Osprey Reef coral sea, Mount Katahdin, and the Taj Mahal (I didn’t realise it was so far from the gate – a useful reminder to pack my flats when I visit).
It could also be a brilliant way to spy on an area you’re thinking of moving to, to show people on Freecycle what they’re really getting into, or as a way of proving that you did actually tidy the living room and your flatmate should bring home a takeaway like they promised. The world (or just your house) is your oyster.