Sfera is a 360 degree photo maker for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, emphasizing a simple approach to 360 degree photo capturing and processing. Sfera lacks some important features that are a requirement, even for 360 photo making apps, like the possibility to save 360 degree pictures as flat photos and more control over final images.
- High quality on/off;
- GPS on/off;
- Sound recording on/off;
- In-app guide;
- Send URL via email or share on Facebook and Twitter.
Sfera is one of the easiest utilities to capture 360 degree images on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and thus especially suited for users with little experience and, likewise, little demands.
To start the capture session, you simply tap and then slowly turn clockwise, trying to follow the aid of the white dot on the line appearing in the middle of the screen. For a most accurate result, you have to keep them aligned. The progress bar on top keeps track of your advancement as you turn to take photos; when it reaches 100%, the capture session ends. It is possible to enable sound recording while shooting, for the creation of images with a soundtrack to them.
Sfera’s engine takes all photos automatically and then stitches them together. The final images are saved in the Gallery, where you can retrieve and upload them to Sfera’s web service. You can share the URL of your images on Facebook, Twitter or send it to email recipients.
The capturing process in Sfera is very straightforward and it’s easy to achieve results quickly. Since you are only presented with a 360 degree image, you don’t actually get to see how accurate and properly stitched your single shots are: possible imperfections are in such way easily disguised.
Proper editing in Sfera is impossible, to an extent: you cannot modify what you have captured. However, a few post processing tools are available, although exclusively as in-app purchases. A series of 7 colored filters can be obtained for $0.99 each or as a bundle for $2.99. Also available for $1.99 are contrast/brightness adjustment tools and a set of 8 very basic colored brushes plus eraser to write or draw over your images for another $0.99. In general, the in-app purchases are not worth bothering about.
The final images should also be viewable in Sfera Viewer, a separate app that can be downloaded for free from the App Store. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the Sfera Viewer to work, because when I tried opening the .sfera file with it, I was asked to download a newer version of the app and I kept on being redirected to the App Store (and I had just downloaded the viewer from the store, so I assume there must be something wrong with it).
All in all, also given the possibilities it offers, Sfera is definitely too expensive. Considering there are so many other 360° photo makers that offer the same and more, Sfera is not the best option available for iPhone users, especially because the app does not allow to use the final images as flat panoramic photos.
Sfera is currently available in the App Store at the special price of $1.99, 62% off the regular price.
Developer: Yudo Inc.
Compatibility: iPhone (3GS, 4), iPod Touch (4th), iPad 2. iOS 4.2 or later.