AutoStitch Panorama vs. Pano – iPhone Panorama Apps Review

A previous post about the You Gotta See This! app – I went looking to see what other types of panorama apps there are out there. I had bought one several months ago called Pano – but the favorite it seems, as far as I can tell from posts I was finding online, is another one called AutoStitch Panorama.

I was impressed with a few of the AutoStitch Panorama features – namely the fact that you can just take as many photos as you want, using the regular iPhone camera. You don’t have to take them in any particular order – just shoot away (but try to get a 30% overlap). And you can crop the photo yourself at the end.

However, despite the rave reviews the app was getting – I was not impressed with it’s stitching results. I tried several times to be as careful as possible about the photos I was taking, making sure the phone was the one rotating, not me – making sure the photos were well in focus, angles were consistent, etc. – and yet in just about every panorama I took, there were way too many “bad overlaps” and a lot of ghosting for my satisfaction. This was especially noticeable if there was a definitive structure line in the picture (like a post etc.)

However, the application I had bought those many months ago – still created the best looking panoramas. But where Pano fails, is what I liked about AutoStitch; with Pano, you do have to take the pictures in a particular order, and in fact, you have to take it in a particular direction too – left to right (I can’t find anywhere a way to change this). Also – you’re restricted to taking the pictures going in one straight line, if you want to add more “height” to the panorama, you can’t. But in the end – the panorama you get, is very clean – with minimal oddities in the overlap. When you’re taking the pictures – it shows you a shadow of the edge of the late photo you took, so you can be sure to get the right amount of overlap and help line things up. (However, this isn’t very useful if the scenery is somewhat repetitive) :)

But the proof is in the pictures. Take a look below. Same scene – two different Panorama apps:

First by AutoStitch Panorama:

(right click – and open link in new window or tab to see the closeup. The “lightbox” thing doesn’t do so well with how wide these are…)

Might be easier to see the details on VR rotator (You’ll be able to zoom in/out in the VR rotator thing)

Second by Pano:

(right click – and open link in new window or tab to see the closeup.)

And again the VR rotator.

I think the difference is really clear. You can see I was able to get more height on AutoStitch, but the ghosting was ugly. Pano’s panorama was beautiful – but limited.

Again, this is why I think that there is in fact room for one more panorama app despite You Gotta See This!‘s claim that “there are already plenty of panorama apps.” I think making use of the gyroscope in the phone is an excellent way to improve on what’s already been done. (And actually on a slight tangent – with the gyroscope in the phone; WHY oh WHY!???! is there no “stabilizer” in the iPhone camera? In this day and age – all digital cameras have stabilizers so that you don’t have to hold your breath and hand very very still so you don’t shake the camera. And yet the iPhone camera lacks a stabilizer. Really?? I hope we don’t have to wait as long as we did for “copy/cut/paste” to get camera stabilization. Seems to me, with the gyroscope in there, it should just be a matter of software. What good is that great camera on the iPhone if every photo I take is blurry???) =steps off soapbox=

AutoStitch Panorama: $2.99*

Pano: $2.99*

*price at time of this writing.

Updated to Add: I just recently made another panorama using Pano – I still think this app does a much better job than AutoStitch – but just to prove it’s not totally perfect -you’ll see in this most recent one – a small oddity to the right of the picture where the trees and grass are duplicated. It didn’t get the overlap perfect at the end there – but still pretty good. Also – This time I used the app in portrait mode, rather than landscape to get as much height as I could. It’s a smaller area (only about 90degrees rotation). Here it is.

Morning Commute


Dog Appreciation

Sregular position in photos, he’s kind of a couch-potato type dog. LOL! We lovingly call him a cat-dog – likes to sit on your lap, etc.) :)

Panography vs Giving the people what they want – You Gotta See This! iPhone app

Sam told me about this app he saw a write up about that’s called You Gotta See This!. What the app does supposedly is this: You click “record” and then wave your iPhone around (slowly) and it will take several sequential photos and based on the movement of the camera and the gyroscope in it (assuming iPhone 4 compatibility only here), it will line them all up to create a picture. Now this picture will NOT be a panorama. It will be what they call a “Panography” – basically a series of (outlined) photos, overlapping each other to create an effect associated with David Hockney. (I wonder if, as an artist, he is thrilled to become another Ken Burns, where people can computerize his style.)

I was really intrigued by the app and was this || close to buying it, but then noticed the reviews. People were really annoyed that you could not get rid of the seams. The developers retort: “Stitched Panoramas are not Seamless. This is by design. ‘You Gotta See This!’ is not a panorama app. The purpose of the app is to create what is called panorama collages or panography”. (Side note – Chapter One in Developing Applications for Dummies: Standard responses when things don’t work the way people want them to: 1) “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” and 2) “The application is working as designed.” Ugh. )

Fair enough – but it seems to me that getting rid of the seams would be possible. I can understand that the point of the app is to create this cute effect, and I can see using it every now and then – but I can also see getting kind of annoyed that I don’t have the option to create the photos without the seams. I’d rather have some stitches not line up perfect and have most of the seams go away (or at least their “shadow outline, or Polaroid outline” go away) and let me touch it up with Photoshop, but still allow me to have a really cool big panorama picture – than be forced into always having a “cute effect” picture. The user base clearly wants this feature, and they don’t seem to be giving in and have no intention to.

Is it just me, or does that seem… petty? Silly? You’d think that an iPhone app developer, given the feedback on how to make their app better or more useful, would do so, especially since I would imagine the change to do what people are asking for, would not be a huge leap away from what the app is already doing. Given the choice, if another app that comes along does something similar, and does get rid of the seams, I’m all over it. Personally, I’ll take functional and useful over cute.

You can read more about the app and see some samples of the pictures it creates on the developers website:

If you want cute photos, (or hope they’ll get the hint from their userbase) – you can also buy the app here:


Climbing Camp

TMomentum offers. (They’re an “Indoor Rock Climbing Gym” here in Utah) If you live near by and are looking for a cool camp for your kids, definitely check them out. Rachel loved it. She did it last year too, and I can’t believe how quickly she scales those walls now! She’s like Spiderman. LOL! They run weekly and on the last day – they have a pizza party and a “reptile show”. When I went a little early to pick her up on Friday, I got to see one of the huge snakes they regularly bring to this show. HUGE. Amazing to look at… from a few feet away. 😉

As for an update on our dog: He’s still at the vet/hospital. Yesterday morning I thought he had given up – but we started a new treatment last night, and it’s given me a little hope. We’ll find out for sure tonight whether this will hold him for a while. He’s an old dog, so we’re on borrowed time – but I would really love to have a few more months with him.