'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

Summary: iOS 5 has a few secrets up its mobile sleeve, such as a hidden panoramic photo taker. Here's how you activate it.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, Mobility

iPhone tinkerers have discovered a new feature in the latest jailbroken Apple smartphone, allowing users to take panoramic photos straight from the device.

Panoramic photos can be used to take a wide, high-resolution photograph, by conjoining and combining a series of smaller images.

iPhone 4S camera secret (Source: CNET UK)

iPhone 4S camera secret (Source: CNET UK)

By enabling the feature, users can simply sweep the phone across the scene in one motion, and the clever little smartphone will do the rest.

Though regular iPhone users will not be able to access the feature unless they 'jailbreak' the device -- by unlocking the device using a tool to run unauthorised applications on the handset -- it could be a feature opened up in future releases.

CNET UK reports that the feature can be accessed by downloading Firebreak from 'outlaw' application store Cydia. However, there are plenty of applications in the regular iPhone app store that will allow you to take panoramic pictures without jailbreaking your phone.

This hidden feature is part of a series of updates to the camera on the updated iOS operating system, including gridlines for better photo-taking and an in-built photo editor.

Apple declined to comment on why the feature is not accessible as part of the iOS 5 release.
Meanwhile, Apple said that Siri will not be ported to older phones, such as the iPhone 4 or the 3GS.

Though hacks have enabled both predecessors to run the voice-activated intelligent assistant, it is thought that the boosted hardware specifications of the latest Apple smartphone is what enables the device to run smoothly and consistently.

Having said that, it has been shown in videos to run relatively smoothly on older iPhone devices, questioning why Apple has not been forthcoming over the reason why not.


Topics: Apple, iPhone, Mobility

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  • Siri on older phones....

    Here is the short and sweet of Siri on older phones. If Siri was offered on older phones, then the newer model wouldn't be nearly as appealing. Siri is the "Killer App/feature." Without it, the new iPhone 4S is barely an upgrade.
    • Agreed. Planned obsolescence

      Apple's been known to be very good at this.
      William Farrell
    • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

      @nucrash To be honest, I'm very much inclined to agree with you on that point.
      • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

        @nucrash , @William Farrell<br><br>Congratulations to the self congratulating Apple knocker society.<br><br>Siri is impressive, it is far from a reason to upgrade.<br><br>One other member of the household here upgraded to an iPhone 4S at end of their iPhone 4 contract.<br><br>They are having lots of fun with Siri and it is great to show off to others.<br><br>So far it is not yet ready for the big time - and Apple would agree with this, that is why it is in beta.<br><br>The upgrade was just released that will improve it's dictation capability.<br><br>But anyone who upgrades their phone because they believe Siri makes their 4 or 3GS obsolete is clearly delusional.<br><br>To upgrade your phone because you want or need a better camera is a reason for some.<br><br>Upgrading because you can due to end of plan makes sense also.<br><br>But how can you think Apple has made the iPhone 4 or Iphone 3GS obsolete by adding a new feature?<br><br>Sure, you can ask Siri complex math questions, or what the weather is, or to set a reminder, but the iPhone 3GS can do this, just not by voice.<br><br>Voice dialling was already on the iPhone, dictation was already available with a free app. Google offered voice search with a free iPhone app, not that it was useful.<br><br>So who is forced to throw out their old iPhone by this feature?<br><br>So why do you persist in these stupid attacks on blogs? What is your problem?<br><br>Mr Whittaker,<br><br>Considering the logic does not hold up, why are you inclined to agree?<br><br>Cynicism is not really a sign of knowledge.<br><br>Yes, this does happen, but the iPhone 4S is a model refresh to stay up to date, not meant to be an upgrade trigger. Really the new features are minor, Siri is going to hit it's stride in 6-12 months, probably around the iPhone 5 release.<br><br>Apple has a valid reason, they will not offer a feature on old models where it works for 75% of users and fails for the rest.<br><br>Maybe they will get it to the acceptable stage on earlier models then enable it, but they certainly won't say that until they do.<br><br>How many other new features have they rolled out back to the 3GS?
      • Wow. So Apple can survive long term from free upgrades?


        I can see what you're saying - Apple has no need to sell new phones when they have the ability to upgrade older phones.

        Makes total finacial sense to me.
        William Farrell
    • The iPhone &quot;4S&quot; was named that way for a reason,

      and the iPhone part remained the same, but the "4S" is short for "for Stupid".

      The iPhone's latest upgrade was mostly about Siri, and it's "beta" software, and people who upgraded for the beta software, have to be stupid, hence, the "for Stupid", where people are stupid for paying for "beta" software. Beta software should never be charged for, but Apple needed something to continue the steady cycles of "new and improved" releases, even though the Siri "upgrade" is not really something that people should be paying for. Siri, because it's "beta", should not be a paid upgrade, and should've remained a test version in the regular iPhone 4, and later, when the "beta" label was removed, then the iPhone5 could have made it a "real feature" and not "beta" anymore. Imagine if Microsoft had done the same with the "beta" releases of its OSes. They would have been crucified. So, why is Apple getting a pass and getting paid for "beta" software? Makes no sense, but then, there are Apple fanatics that will pay for anything that comes from Apple, whether it's ready or not.
      • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

        @adornoe@... huh? I guess the dual-core A5 processor is not much of an upgrade from the single-core A4 and the 8Mp camera with the 2x faster focus speed and 1080p video. I guess I am just imagining the quicker response time and much improved image and video quality.
      • SonofChef: Other than geeks, most people won't be aware of the dual core,

        and most people won't notice an increase in speed to make a difference, and most people won't really be recording 1080p videos and, for most practical purposes, an 8MP camera is overkill. But, for the techies in the audience, those are okay upgrades. <br><br>Face it, most of what has sold the 4S is the Siri interface, but, which is still "beta", and like I said, "beta" should not the main selling point, and shouldn't be getting charged for.
      • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

        @adornoe@... Funny how some moron has the nerve to call other people stupid for paying for beta software when in fact they are not paying for the software at all, they are buying phones with updated hardware.

        Then you go on to dismiss all the hardware upgrades in your response to SonofChef yet what have we been hearing for the past two years from all the fandroids, nothing but talk about hardware specs. Guess they are all important features unless we are talking about the iPhone then the become irrelevant, just pathetic.
    • Not surprised at Apple....

      @nucrash : When Microsoft decided not to give some Windows 7 features to be only included in higher end models [think BitLocker] some people were complaining. Or they complained when Win XP wasn't getting IE9. Will the fanbois and fangurls do the same?
    • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

      @nucrash The 4S has plenty of upgrades over the 4 but I do believe Siri is kept off older models to drive sales, it's smart business.
  • I called this one quite a while ago

    I always knew that my iPhone 4 was more than capable of running Siri and I predicted that it would be days until jailbreakers got Siri running on older devices.<br><br>I was right.<br><br>The truth is that the iPhone 4S was Apple's plan B. They could not get the iPhone 5 done in time. So they underclocked a chip they already had in the iPad 2, added a bit of marketing material around the camera, took a beta product in Siri and restricted it to a device they thought would otherwise not be an attractive upgrade to existing iPhone 4 owners, and here we have the iPhone 4S.<br><br>I'm waiting for the iPhone 5. I'm guessing that if Apple was not able to get this one done in 16 months, it has some pretty spectacular features in it.
    • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered


      I agree with most of this.

      They felt the 4S needed some changes to get over some perception issues, and to stay current with other brands.

      They did follow the same model as the 3 - so none of this should have been a suprise. It was a suprise to those who thought they could second guess Apple, which is telling.

      The camera upgrade is a bit more than marketing, lack of full HD really did need to be addressed.

      I still can't see how Siri makes it an attractive upgrade to 4 users?

      I might refresh at end of my contract, but probably won't unless the 5 is out.

      If I do it will probably be for the camera. My iPhone 4 is wonderful, and I don't use voice control now because I don't like talking to machines anyway.

      Siri is not quite smart enough yet for me to want to start talking to machines. One day it may be.

      The most impressive part of Siri for now is Wolfram Alpha, which I use already.

      Don't get me wrong, I think Siri when it is out of Beta will be spectacular, but not a reason to throw away a perfectly good iPhone 4.

      I now have no idea what the 5 may offer - and I have yet to hear any good suggestions since the 4S was released, but I too suspect it will be very impressive.

      So iPhone 3GS & 4 users, don't rush to upgrade, you already have a good phone.

      OK tech junkies who hate Apple anyway: you must throw out your iPhone 4 because it doesn't have a feature that the new phone has, and voice control is really sci-fi stuff, forget that you already have it and don't use it - you must upgrade to get something techy or you will be a loser.

      Wow - Apple has made you upgrade. You are compelled by their not enabling a feature on your existing phone. You must drop any older phone in the trash immediately if it lacks a feature cause you will have lost out, your life is over as your friends will make you feel small.
      • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

        @richardw66 Right up front, I do have an iPhone and the office and a personal Android phone in my pocket, so I'm okay with both.<br><br>Siri may not make your old phone obsolete but part of buying the new iPhone with the new apps is the cool factor. iPhone has always sold the cool factor and people flock to it for that. So for a lot of folks (witness the lines at the Apple Store) getting a phone that will talk to you when you ask it a question is reason enough to upgrade.<br><br>Did they need to upgrade? Of course not. If all you want is a iPhone that will make phone calls, browse the web, play youtube, etc. then the 3gs that AT&T is giving away will do all that. Nothing obsolete about it. But hey, who wouldn't want a phone that would talk to you! I just want Majel Barrett's voice on it is all...
  • RE: 'Secret' iPhone 4S panoramic photo taker uncovered

  • Apps already exist for taking panoramas

    There are already iPhone apps for taking panorama photos, including (ironically) Photosynth by Microsoft. I'm not sure I understand the need to jailbreak a phone to get functionality that's already available.
  • Install Dragon Go

    It's in the app store and does the same thing that Siri does. Was written by Nuance Software - the same people that do Dragon Naturally Speaking and the company that Apple contracted with for much of the Siri functionality.