Long before the iPhone became so ubiquitous, panorama photography used to be slightly a little more complicated. Now though, because there is an app for just about everything you can think of, there’s app for this as well. Two actually. The’re called Pano and AutoStitch Panorama. Although they serve the same purpose and essentially yield very similar results, the actual functionality is quite different and in my opinion the choice is simply personal preference.
Pano is designed very well. The interface looks great and is very easy to use. The opening screen is the camera but the splash screen isn’t as speedy as you would imagine. After you point and shoot the first photo, the app shows the a translucent edge of the previous photo on the left side which aids the alignment of the next shot. At any point after the second photo has been taken, the option to finish and merge the panorama is always available. You can continue taking up to 16 pictures before the Pano decides to auto merge your creation. Needless to say, 16 photos will more then cover the entire 360 degree view if so desire. Merging process itself isn’t particularly long and it does a great job merging landscapes and outdoor images. It begins to run into problems when photos change angles and vary the perspective which is obviously inevitable. Which brings me to AutoStitch Panorama.
AutoStitch functions quite differently from Pano. Instead of taking over the camera function, AutoStitch simply provides you, the user, the service of stitching up your photos which you are expected to take care of on your own time. It is very clever in the stitching process as well, rather then stitching photos in a horizontal straight line, it allows for horizontal as well as vertical alignment. The photos are simply loaded from the iPhone library and AutoStitch automatically determines how to align them and proceeds to merging. The stitching engine is much more versatile then Pano in a sense that it corrects angle and perspective changes more accurately and produces a non-cropped photo, leaving this task to you. Which is nice.
In conclusion, both Pano and AutoStitch will take care of your panorama creation needs. AutoStitch will do a slightly better job merging the photos but leave you with useless leftover pictures in your library which have to be manually deleted. Pano will not leave a mess in your library but can be affectively used only outdoors in a horizontal straight line.