Now that the iPad has a 5 megapixel camera, photography on the iPad is definitely something that is considerable. Though there are some excellent photo editing programs on the iPad, photo taking services that are formatted for the iPad are relatively scarce.
360 Panorama has been fit for the iPad long before the new iPad made its debut. Better yet, it offers features the stock camera app would never be able to do without a lot of editing afterwards. Read more about it after the break.
What Is 360 Panorama?
What 360 Panorama does is in the name itself: it takes panoramic photos. For those of you who don’t know, panoramas allow you to see much more of the photographer’s environment as it stitches many photos together. Essentially, you can get a 360-degree view in any direction. Usually panoramas are quite hard to create as it requires lots of photo-stitching and cropping in a secondary application.
However, creating panoramas within this application takes out the majority of the work involved in creating a good panorama. All you have to do is click the record button on the bottom of the screen and pan your iPad in any direction to create your panorama. We’ll discuss how well this feature works in the next section. When you are done taking the panorama, you are able to view the final product by swiping or tilting. Pretty neat, eh?
A 360˚ View
As mentioned before, 360 Panorama creates a panorama by snapping photos as you pan your iPad. In many cases, this method can create rather poor results as it stitches photos together as you go. I am happy to say that 360 Panorama does an amazing job at this; everything fits together perfectly with the occasional, squint-to-see seam.
The finished project is customizable. You can view it on either a black or white background and as either a 360-degree photo or a stereographic. You can even add captions to the photo so you can remember where you took it.
Getting great results is heavily reliant on how well the user uses the application and utilities themselves. My biggest issue is that edges are often very choppy and do not line up. 360 Panorama does have a grid system within the application to help you line up your photos, but I found this close to useless. Basically, cropping down the edges is a better bet than trying to get your images lined up within the app.
Also, if you pan too fast, you may need to return to fill in holes which might alter your results with this application.
One thing to note is that 360 Panorama does require Location Services to work properly as it requests access to your photo library. This can cause the application to use a bit more of your battery than you may prefer, but it doesn’t make too much of a difference.
Perhaps the most glaring issue is this: why would I want to take pictures with my iPad? It’s cumbersome and awkward to hold, and most of you don’t have your iPad on you when you would want to take a panorama. Luckily, 360 Panorama is a universal application, so you can use it on both your iPad and your iPhone. Even though it isn’t the most useful, it is still nice that the developers made iPad compatibility with the application.
Sharing the Moment
What fun is taking a picture if you can’t share it? 360 Panorama comes packed with sharing options, and some of them are really awesome. To make the most out of its sharing features, you will have to sign up for an Occipital account. This could easily be done by hooking up your Facebook or Twitter profile to the service.
There are two ways you can share your panoramas on the service. The first is just sending it as a simple flat image. The flat images don’t require an Occipital account; however, you are limited to sending them through email or saving them to your camera roll.
The second way to share your photos requires the Occipital account; however, it is much cooler. The “360″ photo allows the viewer to swipe the photo to view it in its entirety. In essence, it’s just a much more hands-on way to view photos. Your photo will be uploaded via Occipital and you will receive a link to view the 360 view. If this link is opened on a mobile device with a gyroscope, you can tilt your device to view the different parts of the photo. Needless to say, it is an awesome and unique way of viewing photos. You can see an example of a 360-degree photo here.
360-degree photos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Email directly from the app. However, you can copy and paste the link to the photo to send it to friends on other networks.
360 Panorama is definitely a neat application to have. It completely simplifies the panorama taking process and creates some of the best results I have ever seen. Better yet, there are multiple viewing and sharing options so you can share the moment with anyone.
Although the app is pretty great overall, it does have its weak spots. The grid system is quite finicky, and using your iPad as a photographic device isn’t exactly desirable. However, as the app can be had for just $0.99, it’s definitely something you should check out.