Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Gear 360 iOS and Mac limitations and compatibility


Here is an update on the limits and compatibility of the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (first impressions here) with iOS and Mac.

The original Samsung Gear 360 was not compatible with iOS or Mac.  The most you could do on an iPhone was take photos using the Google Streetview app as a workaround.  To use the desktop software to stitch or edit videos on a Mac, you needed bootcamp or another Windows emulation software to run the Windows version of the desktop software.

Fortunately, the 2017 Gear 360 is compatible with iOS and Mac.  However, there are several limitations.  Here are the limits I've found so far.

IPHONE COMPATIBILITY

Compatible iPhone models:
According to the 2017 Gear 360's spec sheet, you need at least an iPhone 6S to work with the 2017 Gear 360.  The models listed as compatible are iPhone 7, 7+, 6S, 6S+, SE running iOS 10.0 or later.

However, it appears that models as old as the iPhone 5S can work with the 2017 Gear 360.  Here are the models we've tried that work on the Gear 360 app (version 1.0.17041101):
- iPhone 5S
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 7 (thanks to reader Philipp Hesse!)

iPhone SE (on iOS 10.3.1) is listed as being compatible but I can only use it to view photos and videos.  When the camera is connected wirelessly, the app freezes.

Functional limitations.
Although the 2017 Gear 360 app can run on iPhone, there are several functional limitations:
- Photos are stitched at 4096 x 2048 instead of 5472 x 2736.  This is true even for iPhone 7.  To get the full resolution, you need to stitch on the desktop software.
- Videos stitched at 3840 x 1920 instead of 4096 x 2048.  This is true even for iPhone 7.  To get the full resolution, you need to stitch on the desktop software.
- Connecting to Wi-Fi is more tedious.  You need to establish a Wi-Fi connection manually (under the iPhone settings) instead of within the app.  On a Samsung phone, the app can connect to camera without going through menus.
- No live streaming.
- While shooting video, there is no live preview.
- When viewing a 360 photo or video, you cannot view the 360 photo or video in a headset from within the app.  (On a Samsung phone, you can view photos and videos on a Gear VR, which can be launched automatically from within the app).

Stability.
Some iPhones may experience stability issues.  As I mentioned, on the iPhone SE, the current version of the Gear 360 app freezes then eventually crashes whenever the camera is connected to the app.  On my son's iPhone SE, the app often crashes when trying to stitch videos, and very often loses its wireless connection to the camera when stitching.

I experienced no stability issues on the iPhone 6.


MAC COMPATIBILITY
Mac users will be able to download a stitching program called "the Gear 360 program."  However, as of today, the software is not yet available.  The user manual only says that it is available on samsung.com, without specifying where on the website.  The printed version of the manual doesn't say either.




Windows PCs get an ActionDirector which can both stitch photos and videos, as well as edit videos.  As with the Gear 360 stitcher for Mac, the user manual doesn't say the specific URL for downloading the software.  As of April 19, I haven't found the desktop software yet.

Thank you very much to journalist, author, and filmmaker Philipp Hesse for sharing this information!  For the latest hands-on information on the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (available herefirst impressions here), bookmark 360Rumors.com or like us on Facebook or Twitter!

RELATED POSTS
Photo and video comparison between 2017 Gear 360 and original Gear 360
Photo comparison between 2017 Gear 360 and Ricoh Theta
Hands-on first impressions of the 2017 Gear 360: everything I know so far

11 comments:

  1. Great article Mic, I really appreciate you keeping us up to date on Mac/iOS compatibility with this camera. Furthermore, thanks for this great site, it is really helping me make my decision to purchase my first 360 camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, my friend! If you have any q's just contact me via Facebook messenger or Twitter DM (I might miss your email).

      Best regards,
      Mic

      Delete
  2. Very useful info. For ongoing support and discussion with the new Gear 360 (2017) check out ---> https://www.facebook.com/groups/1747823272175422

    ReplyDelete
  3. From my testing you can't livestream with SAMSUNG S6.... hope I'm wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter. I'm not sure. Android 7 is required for live streaming so be sure your S6' Android is on 7. My Samsung S6 has a bad EIN so I'm stuck on Android 6, so I can't test. But on my S8 (with Android 7) it works flawlessly.

      Best regards,
      Mic

      Delete
  4. Hello i can't the Gear 360 using into the Google Street View, Why? The Gear Manager is not into the Setting of the Camera

    Best regards
    Wilma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wilma. The original Gear 360 could connect to the Street View app but the 2017 can't as of May 7, 2017. It's possible they could update the firmware and app but there's no guarantee.

      Best regards,
      Mic

      Delete
  5. Hi! Does it work with an ipad 4 mini ? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there. I don't have an ipad 4 mini to test so I'm not sure. I know that it can work with the iPhone 5S, but the app crashes sometimes.

      Best regards,
      Mic

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! Sorry for the word verification - I need it to minimize spam comments. If you want to contact me, pls. message me on the 360 Rumors Facebook page. Thank you very much!