When I first downloaded this app I expected it to allow me to create panorama photos with my device while traveling (hence it was under the travel section of the App Store), but that's not what it is at all. Sphere is an app that allows you to explore full 360-degree photos from all over the world. Most of these photos are in full high-resolution and give you an amazing view of the surroundings where the photo was taken.
The app itself is designed beautifully and does not need a tutorial at all to get started. The only option from the navigation bar you will need is "Discover," since this is the only option that is currently working in the app. This allows you to go to a clear overview of Collections (different cities or subjects), People (Sphere photographers), Staff Picks, and Categories. From here you simply tap on a photo you would like to see and the app will load it in.
The larger the photo is, the longer it will take, as they need to be downloaded from the Internet. The app never tells you how large it is, so sometimes you might be waiting for a long while.
Account Creation and Sharing Options - or Lack Thereof
When you boot up the app, it will ask you to log in using either Google +, Facebook, or a new account created simply for Sphere. This account allows you to upload photos (iPhone only) and create Spheres, change your profile photo, and connect within the Sphere community. There are also a few sharing options, such as Facebook, Twitter, and email.
I personally signed in with my Google + account, but wasn’t able to share it via that social network, nor are there any options to share via other social networks. You can't even copy a link or Sphere to your clipboard for optional other use.
No indication of how long a Sphere will take to download (this can be quite long)
If you’re interested in photography, or just want to look at fantastic full 360-degree panorama photos, Sphere might be the app for you. If, like me, you expected a travel photography app, you will be disappointed. Having said that, I do have to give the developer credit for creating a smooth and easy-to-use experience for anyone willing to use this app. I would like to see more sharing features, a download progress bar, and maybe a less aggressive log-in strategy, but in the end the app delivers on some really fantastic photos.
The app is made compatible with both iPhone and iPad, but not all features are available for the latter, most importantly the ability to upload photos.
Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.