How to Load a Photo Sphere onto your Phone and view in VR (Google Cardboard)
The absolute easiest way to view a photo sphere on your phone is to create it yourself. Using Google’s Photo Sphere Camera (for Android or IOS). By creating your own spheres they are immediately on your phone. Getting the side by side view for use with your VR headset is only slightly more difficult.
Because Google Cardboard and photo spheres are (kind of) Google ideas, they play nice and simple with Android, sorry IOS users. Let’s assume, to get started, that you created a photo sphere using the Google Camera app and you’d now like to look at it using Google Cardboard. All you have to do (Android users) is download the Google Cardboard app. Launch the app and you’ll see the Tutorial, Tour Guide, Exhibit, Windy Day, Earth, YouTube, and finally Photo Sphere. It will immediately be a ‘3D’ side-by-side view because it’s meant to be viewed in the Cardboard headset (or other knock-off). When you launch the Photo Sphere app, your newly created photo sphere will appear. You can click the screen or use the magnet to progress through the collection of photo spheres on your phone. The user interface leaves much to be desired unfortunately as this technology is still very new.
Renderings and Architecture on Google Cardboard
iPhone users, I will update this page when there is an app for IOS. Currently, there does not seem to be any easy way to view photo spheres on an iphone.
Now, let’s say you want to view a third party’s Photo Sphere on your VR headset (Could be photographed or rendered). Again, this is much easier for Android users. All you have to do, assuming the photo sphere was created correctly, is download the PANO.jpeg to your phone; any folder will do. Launch the Cardboard App, run Photo Sphere, and it will find the photo spheres you’ve added automatically. They will be displayed in the order they were added (most recent first).
ADDITIONAL: In order for the Google Cardboard App to recognize your rendered jpeg as a true photo sphere, there is an Android App called Photosphere XMP Tagger that gives your jpeg the necessary meta-data.