The concept of 360 degree panoramas, which was initially made popular by Microsoft’s Photosynth, was brought back to the mainstream by the rise of Photo Spheres. There are many other panorama apps as well, like YouSpin and 360, but none of them offer the level of detail that users get with some of the bigger names. bubbli for iOS, however, is one exception to this rule. The app has a finesse and professional touch that allows it to rub shoulders with Photo Spheres and Photosynth to some extent. Not only is it really easy to create panorama shots with bubbli, but you also get to explore the complete picture in a rather intuitive manner. The app comprehensively guides its users during the creation of a new panorama, and makes it almost impossible to mess a shot up. The sharing options and photo libraries are pretty decent as well.
bubbli starts off with a detailed video tutorial, complete with a thorough set of instructions to help you get started. You can read these instructions to get a general idea of how things work in the app, or skip it altogether and learn about bubbli as you go.
From the first screen of bubbli, it is possible to browse through some of the sample panoramas. In the app’s viewer, you get to move the images around by tilting your device at different angles. If a panorama has sound embedded in it, users can mute/unmute it using the speaker icon present at the bottom of the screen. To view the exact location associated with a photo, tap the first icon, which reveals a map in the bottom half of the viewer. The remaining two icons bring up sharing options for email, Facebook, and Twitter.
To start shooting a 360-degree panorama using bubbli, hit the red recording icon in the bottom bar of the main screen. The recording screen might seem a little too simplistic at first glance, but it does have all the options you’ll need. You can lock the panorama’s focus at a particular point, choose shooting mode, or control the clip’s background audio using these buttons. In the default shooting mode, you don’t get a preview of what the end result will look like, but in the second mode, bubbli lets you paint the scene around on a blank canvas. The device just has to be rotated slowly in order to get the perfect panorama shot.
For those who connect Facebook with bubbli, it is possible to upload the panoramas to the social network straight away. Otherwise, you can keep it inside the app’s own storage and share it later on from the ‘Albums’ area.
bubbli is a free app, and the comparisons with Photo Spheres are quite justified, owing to the high quality of panoramas on offer. It is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch, and works only on iOS 7. The results can get a little distorted at times, but mostly only when the camera is moved around a little too quickly. All in all, anyone who likes panorama shots, or is just curious what all the buzz about Photospheres is, must give bubbli a try.