Horizon App Kills Vertical Video Once and for All, Shoots Lanscape No Matter What

Vertical Video Syndrome, or VVS, is a plague that photographers, videographers and just about everybody else have been trying to eradicate from the face of the Earth for some time now without much success. Thankfully, there’s a ray of hope on the horizon. It’s an app called, appropriately enough, Horizon, and it absolutely positively will not shoot vertical video, no matter how you hold your phone.

The app was developed by the folks at Evil Window Dog, and it made its grand debut yesterday to much huzzah-ing and other exclamations of joy. The premise is simple: using the phone’s gyroscope, the app keeps your video level at all times.

Whether the phone is horizontal, vertical or some angle in between — even if you are moving it while recording — the video will come out level every time.


Further features let you customize the Horizon experience a bit. You can pick form 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and rotate, rotate & scale and no rotation modes. You can even dial in the resolution you prefer, selecting from VGA, 720p or Full HD. And, of course, in keeping with the times, there are also eight filters to choose from just in case the real world isn’t retro enough for you.

For now, Horizon is an iOS only app with no word on whether this will be coming to Android anytime soon. To get your own, head over to the iTunes App Store and be ready to drop $1 of your hard-earned cash. Yeah, we were bummed that it wasn’t free too, but even that is a special 50% off introductory price — and besides, $1 is a small price to pay to do away with VVS.

(via Engadget)

  • blueink

    Can we quit this VVS-BS? Neither orientation is inherently better. In fact, if you only have one monitor, then portrait is preferable. Ignoring the obvious benefits of rendering entire websites and documents without the need to scroll, it allows for mutli-tasking without wasting real-estate.

    Apps like these are literally unconstructive; they don’t make anything. What is the point of throwing away useful pixels? A better solution for those who are married to landscape would be for video players to implement zoom.

  • photosforus

    Sometimes people just like to have something to complain about. I’m with you, I could care less what layout it’s in.

  • bob

    What are you on about? Do you see video player screens laid out vertically? Or TV’s, or anything made for viewing video?
    Video is made to be horizontal and the “throwing away useful pixels” argument is just plain stupid because screens are horizontal, so by filming vertically you pretty much are throwing away 2/3 of the pixels on the screen.

    Also if you’re going to be watching from YouTube or whatever the player will be horizontal anyway so you’ll have to have the resolution set 2x higher to get similar detail from vertical video and then figure out a way to get the video to play in the area you wanted it to.

    Also fixed your chart…

  • Toby Hawkins

    Now can we get this shipped as standard with phones to avoid all those horrible videos where the orientation changes several times through out? The people aware of this app, aren’t won’t be the people who need it.

  • Jason


  • typesmyth

    P1: Video players don’t have screens. They play content on screens. If they don’t conform to the aspect ratio of the content they they’re poorly coded (e.g. youtube). After all, how long has Ctrl + Shift + [arrow] been baked into Windows?
    P2: No, just zoom with VLC
    P3: Since when is it stupid to multi-task?

  • Fazal Majid

    This hue and cry about vertical video comes from quaint old-world thinking where video is something that can only be watched full-screen on a TV. Probably a 4:3 aspect CRT set with fake wood paneling while we’re at it.

    The new normal is watching casual video on a tablet or smartphone. If the video is vertical and has black bars, just rotate the device. Any player software that can’t deal with this is garbage that needs to go.

  • Patrick Ahles

    Multi-tasking is a myth. It has been shown, and everybody knows from experience, that you cannot do two things at the same time with the same level of attention to both (at a conscious level). So your point is moot.

  • Mik

    People who dislike vertical video will keep shooting holding their phones in landscape mode, people who don’t give a f**k about orientation will not download the app.
    And who the hell is the spastic that changes the orientation of the phone during the shoot like in the video? That makes no sense!

  • Jackie Wu

    If the source video was shot and rotated half way through, regardless of what device you use, you’d get an entire black box around due to how you hold the device. At least on the iPhone you can’t lock landscape orientation.

  • Christopher Hugh Hiscocks


  • Federico Feroldi

    The only problem is that I’m watching the video on the screen of my desktop pc and it’s hard to rotate the device…

  • Federico Feroldi

    It’s an opportunity to teach them about video orientation, because with that app they won’t have to think about orientation anymore.

  • Federico Feroldi

    Do you want to have a new version of Star Wars? The skinned edition?
    To understand the joke search on Youtube “Vertical Video Syndrome – A PSA”. XD


    “Yeah, we were bummed that it wasn’t free too”

    How dare those developers ask a dollar for a potentially useful application they spent days/weeks programming !

  • Fazal Majid

    PCs are dying (-10% sales last year). We didn’t hold off on migrating from 4:3 VHS to 16:9 widescreen DVDs just because it might be inconvenient for legacy 4:3 TV owners.
    Sure, the human field of vision is horizontal, but what matters is the subject matter. Yesterday my wife showed me on her phone a vertical video of our 2 year old daughter dancing. I’d much rather have her twirling fill the vertical frame than have her occupy only the 31% central portion of a horizontal frame and waste 70% of the frame on irrelevant surroundings.
    As for flipping back and forth between horizontal and vertical while shooting, yes, that’s silly.

  • Scott

    Ok so you want me to rotate my 55″ tv?

  • Fazal Majid

    We’re not talking about Hollywood feature films. We’re talking about casual home videos of family and the like. No one views those on a TV any more, if they ever did, they are either shared online on sites like Facebook, where viewing full-screen is not the norm, or on smartphones and tablets.

  • Federico Feroldi

    If you know photography (if you are on PetaPixel it’s most likely) then you know something called rule of third. It’s really effective in video too!
    Another thing: I usually put the videos on full screen to enjoy them to the max. ^_-

  • Scott

    Ah so the way you use technology is the only way worth worrying about.


  • Fazal Majid

    I’m not the one self-righteously telling others not to shoot vertical video because it is inconvenient for legacy display devices, and furthermore that they are stupid for choosing a composition format that matches their subject.

  • Alex

    It’s not just about how you view it, what device etc, Its about a better quality outcome. The long and narrow format is not doing the subject natter any justice, it is not how our eyes work. Are your eyes positioned on your face, one on top of the other? No they are not! Turn your damn phone sideways. Easy.

  • Fazal Majid

    I guess Leonardo da Vinci must have been a dunce, since he used the obviously inferior long and narrow vertical format for Mona Lisa, instead of consulting your superior aesthetic sensibilities to do his subject justice. Are your head, arms and legs positioned horizontally on your waist, left to right? No, they are not, and you should leave the patronizing attitude at the door.