Google is entering new terrain as it launches its Photo Sphere Camera for iOS in an effort to bring the 360-degree image viewing service to Apple's operating system and devices.
Until now, the photo service was only available on the Android platform, but its popularity and user demand for iOS was clearly heard by Google.
At the heart of the Photo Sphere Camera app is the ability to add 360-degree photos to Google Maps. The app allows users to stand in one place and move and meander the dot on the screen around until an orange circle can be seen and the image taken.
The app then takes the images and puts them together for a full range 360-degree image that can be published for all to see on Google Maps Views. Users can also share images with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps.
"Photo spheres empower you to look up, down, and all around to revisit the amazing places you've encountered-and share them with anyone," the app description said.
The app will work for the iPad and iPhone 5. It will also be available for the upcoming iPhone 6 to launch this fall and is available for download on the iTunes App Store at no cost.
Photo Sphere Camera adds to the already existing iOS "Pano" mode that allows for panaramic images to be taken, but that feature requires photographers to move and creates a limited view. With the Google app, users will have a much easier time snapping a image that encircles the viewer.
The announcement comes on the heels of Google's recent acquisition of social travel app developer Jetpac, Tech Times reports. Jetpac is known for its social media research and most observers believe that Google wants to use the company as a means of delivering better photo-driven searches.
With Jetpac, Google believes it can take what Jetpac says it can do with imaging and help create clearer photos of minute details of the planet, including being able to take a picture of license plate using a satellite.
"We can spot lipstick, blue sky views, hipster mustaches and more, through advanced image processing on billions of photos," it boasts on its site. It curates those images into Jetpac City Guides, which it calls visual guides to local recommendations "for over 6,000 cities all around the world, from San Francisco to Kathmandu."