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PangeaVR Viewer Brings 360 Tours to iPhone

Published: 13/07/2008
By: larry

On Friday I managed to update my "old" iPhone to 2.0 software.  I think iPhone apps and the iTunes app store are the most significant feature of the recent Apple iPhone upgrade circus.

Since I'm a hopelessly addicted 360 image geek the first iPhone app I downloaded from the store was the PangeaVR 360 image viewer by Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software. The fascinating part of the app is how the image slowly floats from landscape to portrait mode as you move the phone around and how you move the pano around by dragging you finger on the face of the display.

Brian's design is simple and elegant! All you have do to allow a group of existing panos to be displayed on the iPhone is build a few lines of xml that has links to equirectangular JPGs for panoramas that you want to display.

Just for fun, I decided to make a iPhone version of the 360 tour of my Rental home. It took about 15 minutes and the result looks like this. iPhone users that have the free PangeaVR app and type in "" into the "enter url" area of Pangea VR to display the tour.

Yea, I know, it's pretty geeky and not terribly practical. I wish Apple would just put flash on the iPhone so the same viewer that works in every other browser works on the iPhone but Steve is on a anti-Flash crusade so that will never happen.

June 14 Update: Brian reports that the PangeaVR app is the second most popular app on the iTunes app store in the photography category. In the first 4 days over 58,000 panoramas were viewed.

8 comments on “PangeaVR Viewer Brings 360 Tours to iPhone”

  1. I have tried and I could not download you Virtual Tour. I have also double-checked the spelling!
    I agree with you that I find it impractical. Steve Jobs has something stuck in his anatomy about Flash claiming that it's too BIG of a file. Latest substantiated story is that something is in the works from both: Apple and Adobe. There seems to be a Cat & Mouse game between Apple & Adobe....
    I wish they would do something fast given that how much Steve claims his love for the NY Times website and yet, NYT has nothing but Flash Videos and nothing based on QuickTime. Imagine that?!
    Maybe, it's a QT/Flash retrofit thing in the works??!?!?!?!?

  2. Jobs never said that Flash was too BIG, he said it was too SLOW. And it probably is... Flash videos and panos barely play on my PBG4 which has a 1.5GHz processor. The iPhone's processor I about 650MHz.

    I am not sure why Flash is so slow, but it is... this is not Apple's fault.

  3. Alan,
    I never said that it's Apple's Fault. All I am saying is that the Flash issue should have been resolved between Adobe and Apple...

    Moreover, all my Macs are Intel-Based Macs, so I am not concerned about Flash speed either way. But I have seen Flash on my previous PowerMacs (including my previous PBG4) based macs and I did not have any speed problem. You should consider adding more memory... Flash shouldn't crawl on a PBG4.

    However, in order to stay within this topic, I have seen real estate virtual tour loaded on the iPhone far more comfortably with Tourfactory.
    Thus eliminating the need for Flash as far as downloading a virtual tour on the iPhone.

  4. Your 360 works well on the iPhone, but viewing it on the iPad does not work. I checked with the Pangea website, and it seems they have a version for the iPad but it costs $15 for the app. I don't think customers will pay the $15 just to view the 360. They should have a free viewer for the iPad

  5. @Joe- I would submit that viewing 360's in an APP is not a useful approach to viewing 360s. What anyone that creates 306's wants to do is put them on a website and view them on the site. This approach is possible if 360 viewing is done via Javascript and/or HTML5 but the later still is not supported in all browsers.

  6. I was hoping to use my iPad as a field marketing tool. I have a TabletPC, but by the time you turn it on, loads windows and find the file the customer or potential customer is already 3/4 through a yawn.

    It seems the iPad isn't that useful for many things except browsing 1/4 of the internet, sending a quick email, or checking your facebook page (providing you have a wireless connection or subscribe to 3G). by the time Apple comes up with a way to make this extremely useful, my iPad will be already outdated and Apple will try to sell me the latest and greatest. You can't view flash websites and there is no quicktime for iPad. I have to jump through many hoops just to try to get anything working on this thing, I guess waiting for windows to load on a tablet looks like the better way to go.

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