Rub shoulders with leading experts and industry disruptors at TNW Conference →

The heart of tech

This article was published on November 1, 2013


Android 4.4 improves 360-degree Photo Spheres with faster rendering and ‘optimal seam finding’

Android 4.4 improves 360-degree Photo Spheres with faster rendering and ‘optimal seam finding’
Nick Summers
Story by

Nick Summers

Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.

360-degree ‘Photo Spheres‘ shot on an Android smartphone or tablet should look far more impressive thanks to some under-the-hood changes being implemented in Android version 4.4 (KitKat).

Evan Rapoport, a product manager at Google for Photo Spheres, Street View and Panoramio, said the firmware update will bring some notable improvements to the way in which the camera app stitches together multiple photos.

‘Optical seam finding’ will now look for the perfect spot to combine or overlay consecutive images, ensuring that everyday objects aren’t caught looking warped or broken in the various stitch lines. “In our testing, we’ve seen a big reduction in stitching errors on people in the scene,” Rapoport said.

Rendering will also be significantly faster because of new multiple threading, and Photo Spheres shot in more challenging shooting conditions, such as low-light and indoor environments, should also look better this time around.

More: 10 simply breathtaking 360-degree Photo Spheres uploaded by the Google Views community

➤ Even Rapoport (Google+)