The new Street View app curates the 360-degree collections into a more prominent gallery. You can also explore Street View by browsing through the suggestions, whereas before you had to drop a pin in the main Google Maps app.
The other goal with this release is to encourage you to contribute more pictures. Google is tapping into the rise of 360-degree cameras to bring more dynamic pictures into Google Maps. The Street View app also walks you through the process of collecting a Photosphere with your iPhone or Android device (pictured).
The app also allows you connect to spherical cameras like the Ricoh Theta S or NCTech iris360 for instant upload to Google Maps.
The Street View app is live now in the Google Play Store and App Store.
The story behind the story: Google has taken a keen interest in the possibilities with 360-degree cameras. Earlier this year it announced Google Jump, an effort to democratize these rather unusual cameras, much as it did to virtual reality withCardboard. With more image experiences like this, it’s another way Google Maps can differentiate itself from competing services.