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9 to 5 Mac notes that Apple appears to have made a minor last-minute hardware change to the iPad, replacing what was previous described as a mute switch just above the volume rocker on the side of the device with a "screen rotation lock".


101047-ipad_screen_rotation_lock.jpg


iPad External Buttons and Controls: Original (Left) and New (Right)
Like the iPhone, the iPad automatically senses its orientation and adjusts its display between portrait and landscape modes with no user input required beyond turning the device. One common complaint among iPhone users has been, however, that there is no system-wide mechanism to lock the screen in one orientation. The lack of screen rotation lock on the iPhone is particularly frustrating to those attempting to use their devices while lying down on their sides and finding their iPhone rotating the display to an "upright" position.

Apple appears to have decided that this issue is important enough on the iPad to dedicate one of the device's few hardware buttons to addressing it. Users wishing to quickly mute their iPads will apparently have to use other methods than a hardware button, such as onscreen controls or holding down the volume rocker switch to reach zero volume.

Article Link: iPad's 'Mute' Switch Replaced With Screen Rotation Lock
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
YES!

I mean, having BOTH buttons would have been better, but if they had to pick one, this is the better choice.

It's not like it's getting phone calls and will be ringing. Most push-notification sounds aren't that loud...just turn the volume down to 20% and you'll barely notice them.
 
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Sambo110

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,686
0
Australia
I need this for my iPod Touch! So many times I lie on my side and want the screen to stay vertical, but it goes horizontal anyway and it is annoying.
 
Comment

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
Thinking some more...

I wonder if we'll see some kind of gesture in 4.0 for muting.

Like...4 figners all the way down the screen mutes it, go back up and your sound is back.

Something like that.
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,488
1,337
I've never used the switch for anything other than switching the phone to vibrate. As a mute switch, I've found its behavior in apps to be unreliable and inconsistent. Often if I start a game with the mute switch on, turning it off doesn't bring the sound back. I have to quit and restart. It doesn't even mute the iPod.

This is a good choice, as I can see the rotation behavior being undesirable in many situations.
 
Comment

plaxico44

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
177
0
PA
Good. Id much rather have a screen lock button than i mute button. Thats one of the most annoying things to deal with when using an ipod/iphone
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,393
15,515
Central U.S.
Nice! Though not really a hardware change as I'm sure it's the same switch. Software drives it all.

I wish they would let us click on titlebar icons. If there was a volume one up there next to the battery, we could just hit that. Easy. Even still, this solution makes more sense. Sometimes apps have individual volume though and will play loud unless the device is muted. Hopefully they will make it easy to mute before I bring it into class.

Reserved 32gb wifi this morning!! Getting real excited.
 
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benspratling

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2006
326
27
Excellent. So tired of my users asking me to build this feature into my app. So need it right now - on my side lying in bed after over-sleeping 'cause I was hoping iPad's would go on pre-sale at midnight pacific, not 5:30!

Hopefully they will make it easy to mute before I bring it into class.

It's not like you can't silence the thing with the volume buttons.
 
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jtgotsjets

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2004
486
0
Lawrence, KS
What's the little button on the screen adjacent to "slide to unlock"?

slide-to-unlock.jpg

This is the biggest picture I can find of that screen and I still don't know what it is.
 
Comment

Elzlaik

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2008
134
0
I use my iPhone's mute switch a lot and rarely to shut off the ringer. Usually I just want to quickly silence the keyboard. However, for this device I think a rotation lock is a good key to have and now we finally see why they added those rotation lock icons to the latest beta. Besides, I can always just use the volume rocker to turn off the sounds.
 
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zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,310
820
It would be nice if they let the user decide like they do with the home button double tap.
 
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mcmlxix

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
516
1
Why not click once for mute. Click twice for rotation lock. Hannah could demonstrate how to use it.
 
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sharkinfested

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2008
101
0
Thinking some more...

I wonder if we'll see some kind of gesture in 4.0 for muting.

Like...4 figners all the way down the screen mutes it, go back up and your sound is back.

Something like that.

It has that - only it's 5 fingers curled up into a fist... sadly it only works once :(


No, actually I like your idea. It seems like it could be an easy fix with a software update.
 
Comment

TeeJayEm

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2008
104
0
I am happy they decided to use the button for screen locking. But theoretically, couldn't it be used for both? I mean 1 quick tap for screen lock and a long tap for muting? Seems simple enough, especially since they're all gesture crazy.
 
Comment

mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,376
857
Hi,

I sent Steve Jobs an email about this needing to be a feature sometime ago. What struck me is he actually responded to me. I was shocked!

s.
 
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benspratling

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2006
326
27
Why not click once for mute. Click twice for rotation lock. Hannah could demonstrate how to use it.

Because what Steve discovered is that for most users, making it easy to figure out how to do something is often more important than reducing the number of steps to do it. No one would ever think:

"hey how do I mute the iPad? Hmmm, I have five choices: volume down, volume up, power, home & rotation lock. I know, I'll do rotation lock twice!!! Hmmm, didn't work, maybe it's the sim card..."
 
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