iPhone Camera Also Records Direction Metadata in Photos?

Here’s something that we didn’t know. When you take a photo using your iPhone’s native Camera app, it not only records the location (assuming you haven’t disabled it via the Settings app), it also records the direction you’re facing.

This was spotted by the developer of the PhotoMeta iPad app

The PhotoMeta iPad app, which as the name suggests, displays comprehensive photo metadata includes a feature that displays the direction in which the photo was taken on the Map for geotagged photos.

Chris Cornelis, the developer of the PhotoMeta iPad app notes that this direction related information is recorded only when you take the photo using the native Camera app.

The photo is taken with an iPhone 5 and besides the location of the photographer (the red pin), PhotoMeta uses a yellow sector to indicate the photo direction. The red ellips shows the location of the cathedral and is not part of the app. It was added later on to make clear where the cathedral is located.

Keep in mind that the direction info is only available in photos taken with the standard Camera app. If you use other popular camera apps like Camera+ or Camera Awesome, the photo will not contain direction info. As soon as you start editing the photo, there’s also the possibility that the direction info gets lost. This totally depends on the photo editing app(lication).


According to Chris, Apple has added this feature in iOS 6 and has confirmed it on an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. We tried this on an iPhone 5, but the PhotoMeta app didn’t display the direction in which the photo was taken. However, Glyn Evans from iPhoneography has confirmed that it works with an iPhone 4.

You can download the PhotoMeta iPad app to check if it works for you.

Download link:

➤ PhotoMeta for iPad ($2.99)

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