Discussion about the now-retired Photosynth Apps for Windows Phone and iOS.
On my website I have embedded a panorama. When viewing the embedded image on the site, the user presses the 'Click to view' text. Instead of viewing the pano on my site, the user is whisked off to photosynth.net (not desired).
The user can do a spin around, but cannot zoom in or select any 'highlights'.
When the user clicks on 'view in app', a pop-up message appears stating "Cannot Open Page - Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid".
So the user then has to download the app.
A couple of minutes later, then can zoom in, but only a to medium resolution - and still no highlights.
And forget it on Android (or at least on the handset I have been testing upon).
Not a great user experience. I have seen some posts about 10 months ago. Any developments? Many of the links in those posts appear dead now. Are there any 3rd-party solutions available?
Thank you for any insights!
Photosynth only has mobile apps for Windows Phone 7 (Windows Phone 8 very soon) and iOS. Android has no Photosynth mobile panorama app yet.
Photosynth's HTML5 panorama viewer debuted on iOS' Mobile Safari in 2011, however has always used the entire browser windows, and yes, you are correct, it does not support highlights or loading higher resolutions.
The Photosynth mobile app absolutely should support loading higher resolutions and highlights, however.
Additionally, when launching Photosynth's mobile app from the HTML5 viewer in Safari, I have never received any "Cannot Open Page - Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid" message. The URI used is designed to tell the host OS (in this case iOS) to use the Photosynth app to open the specific panorama/collection, but normally, this should either launch the app in one touch or send you to the app store to get it if you don't already have it installed.
Windows Phone 7 users have been unable to even visit someone else's panorama's webpage and view it in Mobile Internet Explorer 9 (which lacked the necessary CSS3:3D Transform support to make the HTML5 viewer work) and also unable to launch directly into Photosynth's mobile app because Windows Phone 7 did not support custom protocols to launch specific apps on the system with particular files.
Windows Phone 8 happily remedies this with both Mobile Internet Explorer 10 (which supports CSS3:3D Transforms) and also supports custom protocols which will enable sending links to specific content to specific apps on the phone from the web browser.
I am sure that Photosynth's team is working towards getting the HTML5 panorama viewer up and running on Android's browsers as well, but keep in mind that unfortunately every web browser supports web standards technologies differently. Photosynth has a responsibility to make Microsoft's customers a priority.
Regarding your assertion that when tapping the thumbnail of an embedded panorama that navigating to its photosynth.net page to view it full screen is not desirable, I would remind you that whenever you encounter an embedded YouTube or Vimeo video, one is even switched to a different application (Media Player, QuickTime, etc.) on a phone, if not passed to a new page or a direct link to the video file first in the browser.
In any case, your webpage is only tap of the 'Back' button away. I do not think that the general user would appreciate conflicting touch input models of scrolling the panorama and scrolling the webpage that it is embedded in if you got what you are asking for, not to mention, having the browser not zoom to perfectly fit the HTML5 panorama viewer to fill the screen without cutting off a portion of the viewer due to differences in viewer aspect ratio and screen aspect ratio.