Google revives its 360-degree Photo Sphere mode on older Pixel phones


Photo Sphere mode on the Pixel 7 Pro.

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google has brought back Photo Sphere for the camera app.
  • The feature was previously taken away after the launch of the Pixel 8 series.
  • Photo Sphere is not available on the Pixel 8 series, but is on older Pixel handsets.

It wasn’t that long ago, but Pixel phones used to have a Google Camera app feature called Photo Sphere. Although Google took the feature away after the launch of the Pixel 8 series, it appears the feature has come back.

First spotted by Reddit user PourJarsInReservoirs, it appears the latest update to the Google Camera app (version 9.2.113.604778888.19) has brought back Photo Sphere mode for some Pixel owners. Specifically, Pixel owners who have devices that previously supported the camera feature.

Android Authority can confirm that Photo Sphere is indeed back. Some of our team members have reported seeing the mode on their Pixel 7 Pro. The feature has also reemerged on my own Pixel 6 Pro.

Seeing as the feature was removed with the launch of the Pixel 8 series, Google’s latest smartphones never had the feature. Unfortunately, that means Photo Sphere is not showing up on Pixel 8 devices.

It appears Google has made no changes to the mode during its brief hiatus. The feature still works the same way it did before, requiring users to carefully move their camera around to avoid poorly stitched images. It also has the five different types of shots: vertical, wide angle, fish eye, 360, and horizontal.

It’s hard to believe this mode that allows users to create 360-degree images has been around since 2012. Although the feature probably isn’t used as often as it once was, it’s nice to see it back.

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