I read a few reports earlier today claiming that Google finally brought back Photo Sphere to older Pixel devices such as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6, leaving out the Pixel 8 series. These reports appear to be based on one Reddit post where the OP claims they finally got back the feature with the Pixel Camera 9.2.113.604778888.19 update on their Pixel 6 Pro.

As someone who regularly keeps tabs on the GooglePixel and pixel_phones sub-reddits, I was taken aback by the news. Why? Well, I hadn’t seen anyone with an older Pixel smartphone claim that Photo Sphere was removed from their devices. Now, for a sub-reddit like GooglePixel which hit 10 million visitors last year, not having any chatter about the removal of Photo Sphere from older devices makes me question the recent reports.

Speaking of which, there was no news from any Android-focused media outlets claiming the feature was removed from Pixel smartphones other than the Pixel 8 series. Even our own eagle eyed researchers out here at PiunikaWeb never ran into such claims. Moreover, I remember having used Photo Sphere not too long ago on my own Pixel 7a.

My Pixel 7a is currently running the Pixel Camera version 9.2.113.585804376.14, which rolled out at least a couple of months ago. That said, the device still has the Photo Sphere feature in the Camera app. Check out the screenshots below:

I can confirm the same on a Pixel 7 Pro that I have access to. But that’s not all. My research into this lead me digging into posts on Reddit and X where I found several comments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) from users suggesting that they still had Photo Sphere on their Pixel devices months after Google removed it from the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. A Pixel 7 Pro user also shared a screen recording to confirm that they have the feature on their device back in December via a post on X.

Interestingly, one Redditor also pointed out the fact that Google removed ‘Playground’ from its Camera app for the Pixel 5 and later, yet kept it for the Pixel 3. So it seems Google followed the same approach for Photo Sphere too. Upon checking the official Google support forums too, I couldn’t find any reports from non-Pixel 8 users who claimed that Photo Sphere was removed. Nonetheless, like with any thing related to Google, there’s still a bit of confusion surrounding Photo Sphere and its removal. I did indeed find a few comments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) from users on Reddit who do claim or at least make us consider the possibility that the feature was removed. As I mentioned, nothing is straight forward with Google. It could be possible that the company’s A/B testing is the reason why we’re seeing contrasting reports about the removal.

That said, I’d like to know whether you noticed the removal of Photo Sphere from your Pixel 7, Pixel 6 or any older model after Google removed it from the Pixel 8. Cast your vote in the poll below.

Was Photo Sphere removed from your Pixel 7 or older Pixel?

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Dwayne Cubbins
1160 Posts

My fascination with Android phones began the moment I got my hands on one. Since then, I've been on a journey to decode the ever-evolving tech landscape, fueled by a passion for both the "how" and the "why." Since 2018, I've been crafting content that empowers users and demystifies the tech world. From in-depth how-to guides that unlock your phone's potential to breaking news based on original research, I strive to make tech accessible and engaging.

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