Developer: Pangea Software, Inc.
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Pangea Software has developed a number of popular game apps including Engimo and Billy Frontier. The company's focus on games makes its two panorama-viewing apps — PangeaVR and PangeaVR Pro — a little odd, not that that's a bad thing.
PangeaVR is a utility for downloading and viewing interactive, panoramic images. It gives you the same virtual walking tour experience as iSynth, which puts Microsoft’s Photosynth 3-D photo viewer on the iPhone or iPod touch.
Panoramas are a series of photographs taken from different angles and then stitched together, giving you a seamless, 3-D view of your surroundings.
With PangeaVR, you can view hundreds of panoramas on Pangea's Web site. There are a wide variety of locales: cityscapes, landscapes, aerial kite views, the inside of churches, breweries, shops and I don't know what else. The panoramas, which are contained in portfolios, are contributed by photographers from all over the globe.
The portfolios in PangeaVR are sorted alphabetically and you can browse them by tapping the Browse button on the bottom menu and then lining up two scrolling wheels. Each portfolio has a one-paragraph, preview description. Tap a portfolio to open it, and let your finger do the walking around to see the view. The animation in PangeaVR is surprisingly smooth.
You can bookmark places that you intend to revisit.
In PangeaVR you can also view your own panoramas. Tap the Enter URL icon and go to your designated site. If you were a real estate agent, for example, you could give a potential home buyer a tour of a property right from your handheld, Pangea suggests.
PangeaVR comes in a Free and Pro version. They're identical except the Pro version can be used to download panoramas and store them on the iPhone or iPod touch, which means you no longer need an internet connection to view them.
PangeaVR is one of those "Gee Whiz!" apps that really shows off the potential of the iPhone and iPod touch. Pangea says it hopes that by providing PangeaVR free, you'll be compelled to give their game apps a try. If I didn't already have a few of their apps, I would be tempted, based on what I've seen of this one.