Wave goodbye to horrible portrait-mode phone video

If there's one thing that we, as a species, can all agree on, surely it's that video shot in portrait mode on your phone is an utter abomination. It's all too easy to record it by accident, because that's the way you tend to hold your phone, and the results always look completely awful, especially if you then put them on YouTube and they're enhanced by dirty great black bars on either side.

Assuming you feel as strongly about this important issue as we do, you might want to take a look at Horizon. It's a video recording app for iOS that promises: no more vertical videos. It enables you to shoot at any angle you like and get lovely landscape footage out the other end.

How does it work? We presume that it uses the iPhone's motion sensors to work out which way up it is, and then uses that information to create a level frame out of everything that goes in through the lens. You can opt for a fixed frame size, or if you prefer Horizon offers a dynamic frame size that's the largest that'll fit within the original captured video frame, which can result in a nifty crash zoom effect if you quickly rotate the phone from horizontal to near-vertical.

The idea's brilliant; the problem is that the execution isn't quite there yet. We tried it out on an iPhone 5, and there's a noticeable jitter as you rotate or move the phone. Naturally Horizon's trying to do an awful lot in realtime, and we'd expect the results to be a lot smoother on the iPhone 5S or an iPad Air. Thankfully because it's so clever and available for a throwaway price, we can still recommend you take a look, even if the end results won't be all that just yet.

Key info

  • Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
  • Price: $0.99/£0.69
  • Developer: Evil Window Dog
  • Version: 1.0
  • App size: 4.3MB
  • Age rating: 4+

Words: Jim McCauley

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