Sorry for the confusion!
Our naming of the plugin and the references to HDR confused some of you.
To be absolutely clear: Google Street View images are 8 bit and thus cannot be converted to real 32 bit HDR’s. This way you can only fake HDR’s.
It would have been better if we described it as “360° reflection maps”.
The main reason that we choose to save the output file as an HDR file is that people are most familiar with this format when it comes to reflection maps and to light scenes.
To stop the confusion, today we updated the website and the plugin and removed all direct references to HDR. We will also add an option to save the downloaded panorama as a jpg or an HDR.
Hope this clarifies.