The art of panning your iPhone 5 for the perfect panorama has been turned into a handsfree affair this month courtesy of the Cycloramic 360-degree video app. This $0.99 piece of software uses the latest iPhone's vibration motors to automatically spin it around on a flat surface — you get a choice of 360, 720, or even 1080 degrees — while recording video. In trying it out, I found that the surface needs to be both flat and decently grippy, otherwise you'll find your handset getting stuck, but the good news is that my instinctive fear of the phone collapsing due to the vibration wasn't justified. The bad news is that even the best case scenario with this app will be producing portrait video — and you already know how we feel about that bad habit.
Automated panoramas are neat, but why in portrait?
The sample video below shows a couple of other limitations to the Cycloramic app's usefulness: the iPhone's camera may have trouble keeping up with the rotation speed if you have both nearby and distant subjects in the frame, resulting in a loss of focus, plus white balance and exposure may need to be adjusted on the fly resulting in unsightly changes in color tone. Still, if you take a bit more time to set the scene correctly (and you don't care for audio, since the vibration noise makes sound recording pointless), this could be a neat new way to get artistic with your iOS device.