The Google Photo Sphere 360-degree panorama feature was introduced in November 2012 with version 4.2 of the Android mobile OS. However, until now, viewing 360-degree panoramas not created with Google Camera or a compatible app was a slightly cumbersome process. You had to manually add a XMP metadata file to your images in order to view them as a Photo Sphere in Google Plus.
Google has now changed that with an update to Google+. You can now easily view 360-degree panoramas created manually with images from a DSLR or compact camera in the Google+ Photo Sphere viewer. To do that you have to make sure AutoAwesome is enabled on your Google+ profile and then upload a 360x180 equirectangular panorama image.
The image will then be auto detected by Google+ and a Photo Sphere notification appears in the top-right corner. A new private version of the image will be added via AutoAwesome "Pano" and can be viewed interactively in Google+ and published to Google Maps and Views.
Although Photo Sphere on your Android smartphone is great for capturing and viewing your surroundings in an immersive way, the stitching quality usually leaves a lot to be desired. For the perfectionists among pano shooters, it's great news there is now an easy way to upload and view your high-quality 360-degree images on Google's social network.
|IMG_8168ABCD by citori525|
|McKinley meadow by TimR32225|
from Natural meadows
|_DSC2146 by jerste|
from Helios-44 II
|Leopoldsteinersee by RaCor|
from Landscape - Colour #3