Using the new PhotoSphere camera mode to take a 360°×180° panorama, you have a stiched together image. Is it possible to get access to the original photos that were used?

I really like the PhotoSphere UI and method of taking panoramas, it's very well done. However the panorama software isn't great (it is a phone after all), and I'd like to use something like Hugin to generate the panoramas myself. Is there anyway to get access to, or to save, the original images that went into creating the PhotoSphere?

2 Answers 2


I do not believe there is a way to do this as stock, since the photos taken are stored temporarily and are deleted as soon as post-processing is complete. If you want to develop your own solution to this by creating a 'hook' for the opensource app "Focal" which has the same features as the stock camera. (Focal: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.xplod.focal&hl=en)

  • Now that link stopped working, and Focal exists on Google Play only in the donate version now. However, its source code is available here, so no issue.
    – tanius
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 0:52
  • At first usage, Focal saved the original photos in the normal camera folder. It never happened again, so I am not sure if it is the normal function or if it was an error. In the latter case, extending Focal to do it is possible, but Focal is "beta" quality and had many crashes and malfunctions for me (Nexus 7 on latest stock Android).
    – tanius
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 0:59

It is possible:

  1. After shooting your photosphere, take a file manager and find the folder that corresponds to your photosphere shooting time. It will have the timestamp in the folder name in a location like this: /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com.google.android.GoogleCamera/cache/panorama_sessions/session_[yyyymmdd]_[hhmmss]

  2. Copy it to a safe place as this cache will be deleted after some hours / more photospheres. For example, copy it into the camera folder so you can download it with your other pictures to your computer: /storage/emulated/0/

  3. Use Hugin or another photo stitching software on your computer to create a very high resolution photo sphere, as you intend to do.

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