I tried Quest's new panorama import, here are my impressions

I tried Quest's new panorama import, here are my impressions

Since the last Quest update, it is possible to view panoramic photos taken with the iPhone in the headset. I tried the new feature.

After introducing spatial video playback, Meta recently copied another feature from Apple Vision Pro with the import of panoramic stills. As of v65, panoramas can now be uploaded to Meta's cloud server via the Meta Quest app and then viewed on Quest in large format.

Panorama import works on all iPhones with iOS 17 or later installed. Since panoramas, unlike spatial videos, can be taken with any iPhone, this feature should appeal to many more Quest users.

It took more than two weeks for v65 to arrive on my Quest 3, and surprisingly I was still unable to upload panoramas using the Meta Quest app. A manual update of the smartphone app finally gave me the feature, which I immediately tried out with some of my own panoramas taken with an iPhone 15 Pro.

Here's how the import works

To upload panoramas, open the Meta Quest app on your iPhone. Then go to Menu > Gallery and tap the Upload icon in the upper right corner. You can then select and upload existing panoramas from your iPhone gallery.

Next, switch to Meta Quest and open the Files app. Here you will find the images under the category "Panoramas". When you open a panorama, the passthrough background is darkened and the image is displayed in the Meta Quest TV app. A strange solution, but Quest's media playback is generally a disaster, so I wasn't particularly surprised.

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The panoramas more than fill the horizontal field of view, but only partially fill the vertical field of view. In my own tests, I found that wide landscapes don't look very good because the resolution of the panoramas is too low compared to the huge format in which the panoramas are displayed. For the best effect in VR, subjects at medium or close distances are more suitable. Please note that I haven't had a chance to see panoramas on a Vision Pro yet.

The feature sparked my interest in panorama photography

I couldn't find an option to zoom in or out or anything like that. Meta's panorama playback seems to be a quick and inflexible solution.

The good thing about importing panoramas is that it is relatively easy. I rarely take panoramas because I did not have a good output device for viewing them. Meta Quest changes that, so I'll be experimenting more with panoramas in the future. In that respect, the new feature is a plus for me.