When you go on a trip, how do you share your experiences with friends? Let me guess: photos and videos. You can take pretty darn good photos with your smartphone these days, but sometimes, photos and videos just aren’t enough. This is where photospheres come in.
Photospheres are not panoramas, they’re a whole bubble of photographs stitched together, showing your entire surrounding in 360 degrees. Google introduced photospheres to Android starting from Android 4.2, but iOS users need to find third-party apps for their photospheres.
Bubbli is one such app and it’s so easy to use that you’ll be creating perfect photospheres in no time.
Start Creating Bubbles
Bubbli will take you through the photosphere creation process, giving you tips and pointers on creating perfect examples. Before you start, you can view some sample bubbles, and be prepared because they’re pretty stunning. Not only are they perfect, the viewing experience Bubbli provides is fun and pretty unique. The sphere changes before your eyes as you move the device, making you feel as if you were truly there, taking this bubble yourself.
You can also share bubbles you find, or see where they were taken (if the location was included), and even hear recorded sounds from the scene, if recording was indeed enabled.
Once you get the idea, tap the camera button to get started with your own bubble.
The app provides tips on how to get the best results with Bubbli. You will be taught to twist your wrists, not wave your arms; to move around your phone instead of circling in place; and to paint the entire scene without leaving any holes.
Things can get a bit challenging while actually taking your sphere, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. The interface is very clear, and your environment really feels like a painted picture as you go along. The red circle on the right as well as the percentage count at the bottom will help you make sure you truly cover 100% of the environment.
Don’t worry too much about how things look as you’re capturing the sphere, it will be worked on after you upload it to create a better stitch. You can pause and resume as many times as you want during the capturing process, and once you’re done, you’ll be able to name your bubble and save it. In order to save it, though, you will need to create a Bubbli account.
Even once your bubble has been uploaded, it’s still not ready. When looking at its thumbnail, you’ll see a white circle slowly turning blue. This is your sphere being processed. Once it’s done, the symbol will disappear, and you’ll also receive an email with a live glimpse into the finished sphere.
This is the result of my first ever try with Bubbli. As you can see, it’s not perfect, but I was definitely impressed, it being my first attempt. My first attempt using an Android phone was nowhere near this good.
If you’re planning on creating several bubbles in the same place, Bubbli lets you create albums and add your spheres to them for easy organization.
Sharing & Browsing
Other than creating your own bubbles, the most exciting aspect of Bubbli is browsing other people’s spheres. Bubbli’s interface makes this process super exciting, and even if you’re not interested in creating your own spheres, Bubbli’s worth it just for the browsing experience.
You can’t see it in the screenshots, but every thumbnail is completely live, moving around as you move the device. Tap one to be instantly immersed in that environment.
The social aspect of Bubbli still leaves something to be desired. You simply have to connect your Facebook account in order to do almost anything, and even when you do, things seem pretty dead and empty. The sharing options are not as intuitive as I would have liked, but clear enough once you get the hang of it. The best part about sharing is that anyone with the URL can view your sphere, even on a regular desktop computer. Here, try it for yourself.
You can share your bubble through any app your iPhone supports, including email and Twitter.
Bubbli offers some pretty exciting technology and really is a joy to use. While the interface still needs some work, the process of creating the spheres themselves couldn’t have been easier. With some practice, anyone can create perfect spheres like the ones seen in the app.
We all know that a simple photo of the view does nothing to get the real feeling of a place across but a photosphere, on the other hand, might just take someone’s breath away.
Image credit: Studio Grafico EPICS