Getting to the Core of the Problem

Posted: 02/09/13

Apple devices are not always as smart as they'd have you believe

I had a call from a client today complaining that images on their website were coming out "wrong" when viewed on the iPad. The site in question was one that was converted to use Concrete5 and was previously a static HTML site so it was entirely possible that it didn't understand what an iPad was. The answwer was however far more amusing than that.

Probing a little deeper, the client told me that the iPad was viewing the site pretty well, except that two out of the six images on the page were upside down, or rotated 90 degrees. My first reaction was that this must be a wind-up, but after hunting down my iPad, the client was indeed correct. Two of the images were the wrong way up. Bizarre.

Looking at the images, they did look as if they'd been taken with an iPhone and it was clear that in one case the portrait nature of the image suggested the phone had been on its side. Then the little light came on - iDevices embed orientation information into the jpeg meta data and use it later to decide how best to view the image. This may be a fine thing to do on the device itself, but when viewing a web page, it's generally a good idea to follow the layout of the page itself. Are you listening, Mr. Jobs?

Fortunately the fix was simply to open up a non-Apple graphics program and save the images without meta data, and load them back into the site.