Skip to main content

Hidden panorama mode discovered in iOS 5

Apple's iOS 5 brings a whole raft of improvements - and one or two bugs - to the company's mobile devices, but there's one feature which the Cupertino company clearly feels isn't quite ready for a prime-time release: a hidden panorama photography mode.

It's a feature which is surprisingly lacking from the all-singing all-dancing iPhone 4S: despite the upgrade to an eight-megapixel camera capable of shooting pseudo-HDR and high-definition video, it has no panorama mode.

With Google making panorama shooting a standard feature of its latest Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' mobile platform - and certain older handsets, including Samsung's flagship Galaxy S II, already including such functionality - it's a small but niggling hole in Apple's offering.

That's something which Apple is clearly aware of, and evidence has emerged that it worked on just such a feature but chose not to ship it at the time of iOS 5's release. Thankfully, an enterprising hacker has figured out how to enable the feature, which appears to work just fine on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

As the feature is locked off and hidden, you'll need either a jailbroken iPhone or developer access. If you've got the latter, you'll need to add a line reading "EnableFireBreak=Yes" to the /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/ file, which will make the 'Panorama' button appear in the camera options.

For jailbroken devices, an app for automatically enabling the panorama mode - with no manual editing of files required - is expected to tip up in Cydia shortly, from Conrad Kramer who originally discovered the hidden feature. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.