If you’ve been wondering about what happened to the elusive Samsung Orb feature that was originally proposed for the Galaxy S4 smartphone, rumors now suggest that it will be introduced on the upcoming Galaxy Note 3 phablet.
Android Geeks initially reported a tip from a Samsung engineer in February that the South Korean electronics giant was working on its own 360-degree panorama feature to be implemented on its fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone. Samsung Orb is a build on Google’s Photo Sphere feature debuted alongside Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in October 2012, which functions by capturing photos from different angles and comprising them into one 360-degree scene. Photo Sphere also comes with integration to share photos on Google Plus. Samsung Orb, however, will share to Facebook.
We saw the Galaxy S4 unveiled in March with a host of new camera features, but no Samsung Orb. Likely the closest feature to Samsung Orb on the Galaxy S4 is “drama shot,” which captures a series of frames and superimposes them into one, giving the impression of movement. Samsung Orb was reportedly not ready for the Galaxy S4’s reveal, but the same engineer now insists that the feature is confirmed for the Galaxy Note 3 and that it will ship with the phablet upon its release.
Android Geeks also reports that other devices such as the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 will receive S-Orb through the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie software update that will roll out after the Galaxy Note 3 launch. The update will see Samsung Orb, as well as other, currently unknown features that will be introduced on the Note 3, implemented into these devices.
If you’re like us, you’re scratching you head and wondering when we can expect the Galaxy Note 3 to launch and subsequently see the Key Lime Pie update provided for older Samsung devices. Currently, rumors suggest the Galaxy Note 3 is still a long way from even being unveiled. We will likely see the device for the first time at the IFA Expo in Berlin in September. But Android 5.0 is expected to launch at the Google I/O conference in May.
How will this work? Will we be eagerly awaiting Samsung Orb for an upward of four months, while Key Lime Pie is rolled out onto other devices? The upcoming operating system will likely ship on a Nexus brand device first, as per Google’s history. Photo Sphere is currently exclusive to Nexus devices such as the Nexus 4 smartphone, which was notably one of the first devices to ship with Android 4.2.
Only one other device in the world is currently equipped with a panorama-mode feature. The LG Optimus G Pro is outfitted with VR Panorama, which is essentially Photo Sphere under a different name. S-Orb too appears to be Samsung specific, which makes us wonder why we have to wait until the Android 5.0 update to receive it, especially when Google has its own version of the same feature on its operating system. We smell some conflict issues that just might be the reason S-Orb didn’t make it onto the Galaxy S4.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.