Google’s Pixel Phones Reintroduce 360-Degree Photo Sphere Mode with Limitations

Google's Pixel

Google has recently made waves in the smartphone industry by tweaking the availability of its 360-degree Photo Sphere mode, a feature beloved by many for capturing immersive panoramic images. This adjustment, however, comes with a catch: it is now exclusive to select Pixel models, leaving the latest Pixel 8 series out in the cold.

Key Highlights:

  • Photo Sphere mode allows users to take 360-degree panoramic images.
  • The feature has been discontinued on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
  • Older Pixel models retain the feature, pending future updates.
  • Users express disappointment over the removal of Photo Sphere from the latest Pixel lineup.

Google's Pixel

Google’s decision to discontinue the 360-degree Photo Sphere mode on its latest Pixel 8 series has sparked a mix of disappointment and nostalgia among users. This feature, known for capturing immersive panoramic images, remains available on older Pixel models using the Google Camera app version 9.0 or earlier. The future of Photo Sphere on these devices is uncertain as updates to the Google Camera app could potentially remove the feature. Despite not being heavily promoted by Google, Photo Sphere has its loyal fans who cherish its unique ability to capture expansive views, prompting some to revisit the feature on their older Pixel devices​​.

Feature Overview and Discontinuation

Originally introduced a decade ago, Photo Sphere mode enabled users to capture comprehensive 360-degree views by stitching together multiple images. This capability was not only a tool for creating breathtaking visuals but also served practical purposes, such as contributing to Google Maps’ Street View.

Despite its utility and popularity among certain users, Google decided to exclude Photo Sphere from its Pixel 8 series, sparking a mix of surprise and dismay within its community. Users reminisced about the feature’s unique ability to capture environments in a way that standard photos could not, highlighting the gap its absence would leave in their photography toolkit.

Community Reaction and Future Prospects

The decision has led to vocal expressions of disappointment across various platforms, with users questioning the rationale behind removing such a distinctive feature. The move has sparked discussions about the importance of software features in enhancing hardware capabilities, emphasizing that innovation should not come at the cost of removing beloved functionalities.

However, for those with older Pixel models, Photo Sphere remains accessible, at least for now. This situation presents an opportunity for users to explore and appreciate the feature, potentially leading to a resurgence of interest in 360-degree photography within the Pixel community.

A Unique Opinionated Summary

Google’s decision to phase out the Photo Sphere mode from its latest Pixel 8 series is a reminder of the delicate balance between innovation and tradition in technology. While strides toward the future are inevitable and often necessary, they should be mindful of the features and functionalities that users have come to love and rely on. The reaction from the Pixel community underscores the value of software features in enriching the user experience, advocating for a more inclusive approach to technological advancement that considers the diverse needs and preferences of its user base.

About the author


James Miller

Senior writer & Rumors Analyst, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world of technology. You can contact him at