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2017 Gear 360 iOS and Mac limitations and compatibility

2017 Samsung Gear 360 compatibility with iOS and Mac
2017 Samsung Gear 360 compatibility with iOS and Mac

Here is an update on the limits and compatibility of the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 with iOS and Mac.

The original Samsung Gear 360 was not compatible with iOS or Mac.  The most you could do on an iPhone was take photos using the Google Streetview app as a workaround.  To use the desktop software to stitch or edit videos on a Mac, you needed bootcamp or another Windows emulation software to run the Windows version of the desktop software.

Fortunately, the 2017 Gear 360 is compatible with iOS and Mac.  However, there are several limitations.  Here are the limits I’ve found so far.

IPHONE COMPATIBILITY

Compatible iPhone models:
According to the 2017 Gear 360’s spec sheet, you need at least an iPhone 6S to work with the 2017 Gear 360.  The models listed as compatible are iPhone 7, 7+, 6S, 6S+, SE running iOS 10.0 or later.

However, it appears that models as old as the iPhone 5S can work with the 2017 Gear 360.  Here are the models we’ve tried that work on the Gear 360 app (version 1.0.17041101):
– iPhone 5S
– iPhone 6
– iPhone 7 (thanks to reader Philipp Hesse!)

iPhone SE (on iOS 10.3.1) is listed as being compatible but I can only use it to view photos and videos.  When the camera is connected wirelessly, the app freezes.

Functional limitations.
Although the 2017 Gear 360 app can run on iPhone, there are several functional limitations:
– Photos are stitched at 4096 x 2048 instead of 5472 x 2736.  This is true even for iPhone 7.  To get the full resolution, you need to stitch on the desktop software.
– Videos stitched at 3840 x 1920 instead of 4096 x 2048.  This is true even for iPhone 7.  To get the full resolution, you need to stitch on the desktop software.
– Connecting to Wi-Fi is more tedious.  You need to establish a Wi-Fi connection manually (under the iPhone settings) instead of within the app.  On a Samsung phone, the app can connect to camera without going through menus.
No live streaming.
– While shooting video, there is no live preview.
– When viewing a 360 photo or video, you cannot view the 360 photo or video in a headset from within the app.  (On a Samsung phone, you can view photos and videos on a Gear VR, which can be launched automatically from within the app).

Stability.
Some iPhones may experience stability issues.  As I mentioned, on the iPhone SE, the current version of the Gear 360 app freezes then eventually crashes whenever the camera is connected to the app.  On my son’s iPhone SE, the app often crashes when trying to stitch videos, and very often loses its wireless connection to the camera when stitching.

I experienced no stability issues on the iPhone 6.

MAC COMPATIBILITY
Mac users will be able to download a stitching program called “the Gear 360 program.”  However, as of today, the software is not yet available.  The user manual only says that it is available on samsung.com, without specifying where on the website.  The printed version of the manual doesn’t say either.

Windows PCs get an ActionDirector which can both stitch photos and videos, as well as edit videos.  As with the Gear 360 stitcher for Mac, the user manual doesn’t say the specific URL for downloading the software.  As of April 19, I haven’t found the desktop software yet.

Thank you very much to journalist, author, and filmmaker Philipp Hesse for sharing this information!  For the latest hands-on information on the 2017 Samsung Gear 360, bookmark 360Rumors.com or like us on Facebook or Twitter.