Google's Photo Sphere camera feature now available as new iPhone app

Google has launched a new iPhone app, called Photo Sphere Camera. It was previously only available for Android.

Photo Sphere originally launched alongside Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It began as an Android feature that allows you to create panoramic-like images using the rear camera of a mobile device. Photo Sphere uses your device's gyroscope to determine the rotation of the camera, while you manuever your device up, down, left, or right in order compile and later see all the images as one.

Now Google's Photo Sphere is available for iPhone owners, through an iPhone app appropriately titled Photo Sphere Camera. Like the Android feature, the new app lets you take a 360-degree photo. It actually stitches together several photos all to create one image. You can pan through or tilt your device to fully view the final image. You can also publish your Photo Sphere to social networks or even Google Maps.

The launch of Photo Sphere Camera for iPhone follows a report from earlier this month that claimed Google+ Photos could soon become its own thing. More specifically, Google+ Photos and its several editing features might soon be repackaged and rebranded for non-Google+ users. Rumours have claimed Google spent far too much time trying to encourage Google+ usage, and now it allegedly wants to make some of the social network's features more independent.

Google recently opened the Google+ Hangouts video-conferencing feature, for instance, to business customers who aren’t Google+ users. And now the company has made Photo Sphere into a standalone product available on a rival platform.

READ: Google could pull Google+ photo features into separate product

It's worth noting Photo Sphere and other potentional Google+ Photos products could help Google better rival Facebook-owned Instagram. The photo-editing mobile app, as of last spring, had 200 million monthly active users who uploaded 60 million photos per day. Google said it has 500 million Google+ users who uploaded more than 1.5 billion photos every week.

Photo Sphere Camera is optimised for iPhone 5 and requires iOS 7.0 or later. It is compatible with both iPhone and iPad.