Where Ideas Take Shape

LiveRotate Brings Rotation to Live Photos

LiveRotate is a terrific iPhone photo utility from Becky Hansmeyer for rotating Live Photos without eliminating the ‘live’ aspect of the photo. Becky created LiveRotate out of frustration with the limitations of Apple’s Photos app.

One of my favorite parts of writing about apps is learning the stories behind them. LiveRotate was conceived when Becky Hansmeyer was taking Live Photos of her two-month-old son in his crib. She was disappointed to find that the photos were oriented incorrectly. I’ve seen this happen too. Depending how you hold your iPhone, it can get confused about the orientation and you wind up with a photo rotated differently than you want.

If you are taking a standard photo, all you need to do is enter editing mode in Apple’s Photos app to rotate your shot. If, however, you try to do that with a Live Photo, the photo is converted from a Live Photo to a regular static shot. Becky wanted to preserve the live video of her son wiggling around in his crib, so she built LiveRotate.

The Live Photos that inspired Becky Hansmeyer to make LiveRotate.

The Live Photos that inspired Becky Hansmeyer to make LiveRotate.

LiveRotate has an eye-catching, attractive icon that evokes the icon Apple uses to identify Live Photos. When you first launch LiveRotate, it imports all the Live Photos on your iPhone into a grid of square thumbnails like the grid the Photos app uses in Album view. Tapping on an image opens the full-sized version of the photo, which animates once when it first loads.

At the bottom of the screen is a button that rotates your Live Photo counterclockwise 90 degrees with each tap. When you’ve rotated your image to the desired orientation, the button in the top right corner of the screen saves your photo to your photo library as a Live Photo in the orientation you chose. In my tests LiveRotate worked perfectly every time.

I would like to see iPad support added to LiveRotate because, although I don’t take many photos with my iPad, I do edit photos on it. Nonetheless, LiveRotate is a simple, elegant solution to a frustrating limitation of Apple’s Photos app and exactly the type of app I like to have tucked away in my ‘Photography’ folder for those occasional times that I need it.

LiveRotate is $0.99 on the App Store.

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