Share 360 VR Photos for Google Cardboard Camera

Thanks to some back-and-forth testing, fellow developer @eLearnDevGeek and I found a successful workaround to share panoramic 360 captured via Cardboard Camera with others.

First, while Google provides a great place to start, there is a tiny bit of missing information. Here is what Google says on their support site (

Share VR photos

Cardboard Camera does not yet have a sharing feature inside the app. Instead, you can share your VR photos using your Android phone's sharing feature.
To share a photo:
  1. In the Cardboard Camera gallery, open the VR photo you want to share.
  2. Touch the menu icon .
  3. Touch Open in gallery.
  4. To share your photo, touch the share icon .
The person you send the photo to can download the VR photo to their phone's "Downloads" or "Pictures" folder.
If the person you shared the photo with downloads the Cardboard Camera app for Android, the VR photo will show up in their Cardboard Camera gallery on their Android phone. 
Note: If you share a VR photo using a different website, like Facebook or Twitter, your photo will change to a normal photo and the person who receives it won’t be able to view it in VR.
However, this information does not provide the means of sharing. Should you send via SMS? Or other messaging service?

Workaround Method

We found the most successful method (so far) is to send the VR photo via email attachment. If the 360 VR photo - which has the document type, "your_image_name.vr.jpg" - is sent by SMS or other means the phone will compress the file, in before attaching/sending it.

While the recipient will likely receive the photo - and, weirdly enough, it will still maintain its ".vr.jpg" file type - Cardboard Camera will not recognise it and you will see something like the image below if you try to open it via Cardboard Camera:
Error message on Android phone, "This is not a VR photo."
"This is not a VR photo" message is indication that something went wrong.
In addition, make sure to send the VR photo attachment to the recipient's email (probably their Gmail one) that is associated with their Google Play account.

Have you found other workarounds or fixes? Share your insight with us below! :)


  1. I noticed when we tested the email method, Gmail gives you download or save to Drive options. To test the Drive option I emailed myself a VR photo, uploaded it to drive and then went to Share where it provided a link. I am am curious if the link will give people access to the real deal, or just the jpg. Give it a try!

  2. I am getting the "this is not a VR photo" error a lot. The photographs can still be panned 360 degrees but they can't be opened in VR mode. Is there any solution to this? Perhaps a way to recreate the necessary metadata?

    1. Are these images that were CAPTURED via Cardboard Camera (app)? If the images were NOT created via Cardboard Camera, perhaps add the prefix as described below?
      Enzo Paradiso
      Engineer R&D at Mirion Technologies
      Hi there, to render a panorama photo with the Google Cardboard VR you only need to insert a prefix "PANO_" before each photo, copy it in the Cardboard folder of the internal storage and make sure width and height have 2:1 ratio (example width = 1000 px, height = 500 px). No need to use external applications or use format different from JPG.


Post a Comment