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Monday, September 17, 2012, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Apple's new iOS 6 Camera app makes Panorama capture easy


Not your typical pano



The built in Panorama capture process in iOS 6 is quite a bit simpler (and also more limited) when compared to dedicated pano-capture apps. A number of third party apps already offer to capture panoramic images on any iOS device, and most offer a variety of features Apple's new built in Panorama feature does not match.



The highly rated 360 Panorama app by Occipital, for example, can capture full immersive images (above, the resulting image was originally less than 1MB and a much lower 4096x883 resolution compared to Apple's new Panoramas) that users can subsequently pan up, down and around (manually with a finger, or using the gyroscope) to view the image in a full circle from a central virtual vantage point (below), reminiscent of Apple's abandoned QuickTime VR technology from the mid 1990s.



The app also renders a "North Pole" stereographic view (below) of captured panos, and lets users upload them to a sharing site for further processing and enhancement.



Note that the app is capable of capturing much better images than these quick examples when correctly panned up and down to fill in the entire "grid" available in its capture mode (below).



Despite introducing immersive, surround imaging capture and presentation nearly 20 years ago with QTVR, Apple's new Panorama feature only captures a maximum field of view of 240 degrees. That's wider than the typical human field of view of about 180 degrees, but certainly not a full circle as most pano apps do.

Rather than reclaiming its abandoned QTVR effort to help users capture immersive worlds or purposely obsolescing the variety of apps designed to capture dynamic "everything" views of particular location, the new Panorama feature in iOS 6 has a different goal in mind.