Gear 360 Photos – viewing in 360 and VR

So the Gear 360 camera is pretty cool – I managed to snag one at #SDC2016. I have taken a fair few pictures with it (and handed it off to a couple of other people to do the same with at recent events) and I was looking for a good way to share those images straight to the web. While there’s support out there right now for 360 video, finding a place to share photos with an embedded viewer turns out to be a bit more challenging. I did however stumble across the correct way to view your photos in the Gear VR. Spoiler alert – it’s not by doing what the 360 app tells you to do.

Presuming you have managed to get the app working with your camera so far (I didn’t suffer any major challenges getting that to work) go to the gear 360 tab, and press and hold on one of the images there. Select all the images you want to be able to view in the gear, and then hit “Save” in the top right corner. Ignore anything that says “View in Gear VR” because it’s lying – it tells you to put your phone into the Gear VR, and when you do, shows you a nice 3D slideshow environment, and never actually opens your photos 360 – just in 2D, which is probably not the reason you took a 360 image to start with.

Once you have the images transferred over to your phone (rather than residing on the 360’s memory card – though if you have a slot for it on your phone, I guess you could just transfer the card – the S6 doesn’t have one of those handy micro SD card slots) put your phone into the Gear VR after all, but navigate to the home screen.

Open the Oculus 360 Photos app – if you don’t have it in your library, install it for free from the store, though I believe it’s one of the default Oculus Apps. It will dump you straight into their featured photos. Hit the back button once, and you’ll see a handy menu. Navigate to “My Photos>Gear360” and then tap on one of the photos to start the slideshow. Swiping (forward or back) will navigate you more quickly through the images.

I’ll update this post when I figure out somewhere that will let me share the images online as 360 photospheres.

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