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article imageNexus 5X may take 'upside down photos'

By James Walker     Nov 9, 2015 in Technology
Google's Nexus 5X smartphone may take 'upside down photos', a company engineer has confirmed. There is a rational explanation for the odd behaviour but it hasn’t pleased annoyed owners.
UberGizmo reports that a thread on Reddit has begun filling up with reports of the phone's camera sometimes taking things "upside down," resulting in some decidedly odd results when a photo comes out in a different orientation to what you'd expect. The issue only occurs when editing or viewing photos in third-party apps after they have been shot in the camera.
After some speculation by users, Google imaging engineer Eino-Ville Talvala dropped in and offered up an explanation. Unfortunately for owners, the behaviour is unavoidable and perfectly normal.
Due to internal space constraints, Google and its manufacturing partner LG were forced to mount the Nexus 5X's camera in landscape orientation on the motherboard. The sensors are usually placed in portrait so their orientation always matches the way in which the phone is being held but in the case of the Nexus 5X the camera thinks it's oriented in the opposite direction to the handset's body.
Google ensures the user never notices this by correcting the rotation in software. The images should always appear in the gallery the correct way up, without any odd changes in orientation. It works too — but currently only in the company's stock apps.
Google updated its imaging APIs to automatically support the feature but many third-party app developers are still using older versions. This means the photos will appear to be incorrectly oriented in some image editors or photo sharing apps, showing as portrait when holding the phone in landscape mode and vice versa. The company's engineers tried to solve the problem but concluded it couldn't be done without breaking the third-party apps that were affected.
Owners are now encouraged to reach out to app creators and let them know that they need to make the necessary change. Google and LG are working together to notify developers of the issue and ensure they can move to the newest version of the Android camera API.
Nexus 5X owners aren't the only ones experiencing some issues with their new phones. Owners of its larger sibling, the Huawei Nexus 6P, have been reporting cases of "spontaneous glass shattering" in a more serious problem that is likely to be a hardware defect. Huawei has yet to comment on those claims but the message from LG is rather clearer: Nexus 5X owners will just have to stick it out until third-party apps get updated.
More about Google, Nexus, nexus 5x, Android, Smartphone
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