Google's "Photosphere" 360-degree panoramas are one one of the stand-out features of Android 4.2. But we've been left guessing as to whether third-party manufacturers will get access to this tech when they ship their own non-Nexus devices. Now it seems at least one OEM may be prepared to go it alone with its own proprietary Photosphere-like feature.
According to AndroidGeeks, which cites engineering sources within Samsung, the company will debut "Samsung Orb" on the upcoming Galaxy S4. This is said to be a Photosphere-like feature, allowing users to record similar 360-degree images for "an almost three-dimensional viewing experience." Naturally we'd expect an upcoming Samsung flagship to pack a better camera than the Nexus 4, so that's a point that'll work in Samsung's favor.
Samsung's also said to be working with Facebook to bring easy social sharing of Orb images. That's in sharp contrast to Photospheres, which are shared primarily through Google+. It's unclear whether "Orb" panoramas will be compatible with the back-end stuff that Google's set up to support and share Photosphere images. Currently the only way to share these on the web is through the Google ecosystem, so it'll be interesting to see how the two standards live alongside each other.
But remember we're still in rumor territory here, as Samsung has yet to make any official comment on its next-gen Galaxy S phone. Multiple outlets have reported that the device will be unveiled at an event on Mar. 14, and we also understand that's when Samsung's planning to show the S4 for the first time. So it's likely we won't have long to wait before we find out exactly what Samsung's got up its sleeve.