iPad's 'Mute' Switch Replaced With Screen Rotation Lock

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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".


    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
  2. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    Makes the iPad a little less useless. I guess...
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC

    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.
  4. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2007
    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.
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    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.
  6. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    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.
  7. plaxico44 macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2010
    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
  8. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    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.
  9. benspratling macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    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!

    It's not like you can't silence the thing with the volume buttons.
  10. O and A macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    New York City
    good move. hate it when it rotates on me when i'm in bed.
  11. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


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

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

    Nov 1, 2008
    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.
  13. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    It would be nice if they let the user decide like they do with the home button double tap.
  14. icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
  15. benspratling macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    iPhoto slideshow.
    Watch the keynote.
  16. mcmlxix macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2009
    Why not click once for mute. Click twice for rotation lock. Hannah could demonstrate how to use it.
  17. JAWWC macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2008
  18. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  19. benspratling macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    It shoots fireballs at Mario.

  20. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Wow, and I thought I am the king of attention to details. =p
  21. sharkinfested macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2008
    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.
  22. aucl macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2009
  23. TeeJayEm macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2008
    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.
  24. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004

    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!

  25. benspratling macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    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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