Google today launched a new application for iOS users called Cardboard Camera, which allows you to create 3D, 360-degree photos using your mobile device’s camera. The app was previously available only on Android, following its launch in December 2015, but didn’t yet include a social sharing feature.
Using the new version of Cardboard Camera, you can take VR photos by holding your iPhone vertically, tapping record, then turning around as though you’re taking a panorama, Google explains in an announcement about the new app.
But while the photo-taking experience is similar, Google’s app simulates depth with your photos – meaning, it makes near things look near, and far things look far. It then sends slightly different photos to each eye, which makes it feel like a 3D environment.
It’s not true 3D, however, as you won’t be able to move around within that environment, but it’s still a big step up from a flat, static image. Plus, the app allows you to record the sound along with the image, which can help to trick the brain into feeling like you’re having a more immersive experience.
In addition to the iOS debut of Cardboard Camera, both the iOS and Android versions of the app are getting an upgrade from the prior release, too. Today, users on both platforms can share their VR photos with friends through a new feature, says Google.
To share your photos, you’ll first select your favorites and then add them to a virtual photo album. Tap the share button in the album, and the app will generate a link that you can message, email or post to the web for everyone to view. Any recipient of the link can then use their own VR viewer, like the Google Cardboard, to view those photos in their 360-degree glory.
Google says that since the launch of Cardboard Camera for Android, users have created over 5 million photos using the app.