Horizon: The Solution to Crappy Vertical Videos on Android
If you hold your phone upright while taking a video, you've surely seen the horrific end results. When you try to play the video back on any other display, roughly 70 percent of the screen is occupied by black bars.
I normally scold people for this behavior, as it makes for terrible viewing. But, in a more proactive approach, the makers of a popular iOS app have brought their wares to Android in hopes of finally finding a cure for Vertical Video Syndrome.
Horizon is a video-recording app with a twist—quite literally. Using your phone's sensors, the app ensures that you're always filming in landscape mode regardless of how you hold your phone. With your camera's viewfinder locked onto the horizon, you can turn your phone every which way and the video will remain level.
Horizon can be found with a quick search from your Play Store app, but you can also use this link to jump straight to the install page.
When you first launch Horizon, you'll be given a nice feature tour that outlines the app's functionality. Swipe between screens to view a quick demo. There are 3 main shooting modes: Flex, Rotate, and Locked.
Flex will automatically zoom out when you turn your phone sideways, then zoom back in when you hold it upright. Rotate will still maintain the horizontal viewing angle, but won't zoom in and out. Locked behaves like a normal camera app and does not auto-rotate at all.
The free version of Horizon is limited to 15-second video clips, but the Pro version will remove this restriction for a one-time purchase of a dollar. You can proceed with the free version by tapping Cancel at the end of setup.
Use the button at the bottom-left of the screen (while in landscape mode) to toggle between shooting modes.
Again, Rotate mode keeps the zoom level locked while still keeping track of the horizon, but Flex mode zooms in and out depending on available screen space.
No matter how you hold your phone, the videos you record with Horizon will be properly formatted for most monitors. The rectangle you see in the center of the screen is what your video will look like when you're done recording.