Google Cardboard's Camera app just got a lot better for iPhone users

Google Cardboard VR headset

Attention, aspiring VR photographers: Google's virtual reality photo app is finally available on the iPhone. Previously, the app was an Android exclusive, but now iPhone users can create and view VR photos too.

The app, called Cardboard Camera, aims to make taking, sharing and viewing VR pics a breeze. You'll still need a Google Cardboard, or any number of generic phone-based VR headsets on the market, to view the photos.

Cardboard Camera works similarly to Google's Photo Spheres, except you're limited to panoramic photos. You can't capture the area above or below your sight line, which is a bummer as a complete Photo Sphere would be more immersive.

However, Cardboard Camera adds immersion by letting you record sound, so you can dictate what you're seeing, or just capture ambient noises.

Cardboard Camera for iOS gif

A look at sharing in the app | Credit: Google

Cardboard Camera isn't about creating the most immersive photos, but aims instead to make taking VR photos quick and easy. Since you don't have to worry about aligning the on-screen dots just right, like you do with Photo Spheres, taking a panoramic VR image takes a lot less time and effort.

Cardboard Camera for iOS

Left: Cardboard Camera's viewing interface. Right: Follow the horizon to take a VR photo.

Sharing is super-easy with Cardboard Camera, as you can send and receive shared photos within the app.

If your friends don't have a VR headset, that's okay, too. You can share a link with them to view your panoramic photos on the web. Google has an example gallery set up to illustrate what that looks like.

Cardboard Camera is a novel way to dabble in the world of virtual reality. The inclusion of sound definitely helps elevate the experience, but it's still not as immersive as a 360-degree video.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.