iPad Orientation Lock Switch: The Petition

By  |  Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

With iOS 4.2, the iPad’s hardware switch changed from locking screen orientation in place to muting the volume. Terrible idea, but Gizmodo’s not taking it without a fight. The site encourages protesters to write “Hey #Apple, change the #iPad switch back to screen lock!” on Facebook, Twitter or the comments section of this blog post. I doubt that Apple cares to appease Gizmodo after the iPhone 4 prototype debacle, but it’s a nice thought.


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27 Comments For This Post

  1. K. Coady Says:

    If they don't change it back I'm getting rid of my iPad,iPhone, Mac mini and iMac. It's a principle thing……..

  2. Danese Says:

    They haven't taken it away, the lock/unlock feature has just been moved. Double click your home button and scroll to the very left side. You'll see the orientation icon. It's probably in the 'locked' position. Just click to 'unlock' it. In the future, you should go to apple.com for help instead of making an unintelligent remark for all to chuckle at.

  3. Meachkins Says:

    What's up? Why take a perfectly functioning button and create a duplication for the volume control? It would be okay if I knew how to lock the orientation. Help!

  4. JaredNewman Says:

    You can still lock the orientation by double-clicking the home button, swiping to the right in the multitask bar and clicking the rotation button on the left side.

  5. PaladinTom Says:

    Furthermore, it doesn't work on apps like Pandora, NPR and Zumocast?! I mean… c'mon!

  6. quicksilver Says:

    The mute switch, as it is now, doesn't even mute the volume.

  7. jasonb Says:

    Give me back my Orientation lock! It's infuriating, like Meachkins wrote, WHY the duplicate controls??? I read some where that there is a way to lock it with gesture, but I have no idea how…

    I've never thought to myself while holding down the volume button… "gee this is taking way to long, I wish I had a switch" Did anyone?

  8. David Says:

    Things must be okay in iPad-Land if this is the item that gets all the press. I upgraded to iOS 4.2.x. The button is not a big deal.

    Most people probably *never* even used the button. When will the hardcore learn? These products are not designed for people who gripe about such things and that is why they are successful.

  9. JaredNewman Says:

    From what I've read, it seems like a polarizing issue. Those who swear by orientation lock can't possibly imagine why anyone would want a mute switch, and vice versa.

  10. Guest Says:

    Why not just give us an option to chose in the settings what it does. Problem solved.

  11. Non-fan Says:

    What used to be a VERY useful little button has now become useless since the sound is almost always off anyways.

    How was the orientation lock usability improved? It is now buried by multiple actions (only after the ipad is unlocked). Usability score -1000.

    If this is not changed to be an option in settings, I am done with Apple products and moving to another vendors solution.

  12. IcyFog Says:

    If this was a Technologizer petition I'd do it.

  13. Omar Says:

    what a horrible horrible idea! now i can’t use my ipad like “my ipad”. terrible decision on apple’s part!

  14. Bob Says:

    The way they did it, software-style, takes away all of the flexibility of the orientation lock, while providing a full button for a function that already existed by holding the down volume button for a full 2 seconds. Bad choice Apple. Bad choice.

  15. DucMan Says:

    Crikeys… Not happy with this one…. Seriously not a good idea.

  16. Dan C Says:

    Also unhappy. Why not simply let us choose via settings? Mute was already there via double tapping the volume down button, so we lose a useful hardware option and gain nothing. Ugh.

  17. Steveb Says:

    Apple's original engineering team on the iPad must have been a lot smarter than the current team. How sad!

  18. Juz Says:

    When I approach this from a usability point of view (putting aside the “change is hard” and issues that existing users like me face), this kind of makes sense.

    The only time I want to lock the orientation of the device is when gaming or reading etc, in which case I am actively USING the device (screen is on, iPad is unlocked). Thus the software button is easily accessible in this use case.

    But muting is something I may want to do when NOT using the device, so using the hardware button here makes sense, so I don’t have to unlock. This point is somewhat invalidated by the volume buttons themselves though.

  19. config Says:

    I'm also extremely displeased with the orientation lock now in software. Not only did they take away a very easily accessible feature that I use ALL THE TIME, but now it's buried in software with a multiple step process: wake-up device-> slide to unlock-> enter passcode-> double-tap Home buttom-> slide app bar left-> press Orientation lock button-> press Home button again to clear task bar… Even with the iPad already unlocked, I still have to do more steps now and it's no longer just a "rotate device and flip button" in one fluid motion anymore, now it's a button pressing, finger swipping ordeal… UGH!!! How is this change at all even remotely "user friendly"?

  20. Gregoryd Says:

    Ain't it amazing how people can come up with a brilliant product and then proceed to f**k it up e.g. "new" Coke. I rest my case!

  21. S c brown Says:

    The fxn on the physical button should be user assignable. Period.

    I am very annoyed that apple made this change to my device, taking away control that's essential for my most core uses of the device (ie, in bed, in odd places where laptops don't fit, in social situations where i need to pass the device around, etc).

  22. Krishna Says:

    It's frustrating to do double click and then lock orientation, instead it would have been better if now swap it current Mute button

  23. trodgor Says:

    I agree with S c brown.

    It should be user customizable.

    I would not have know about the "double click the home button" trick, had it not been for this thread.

    It is totally useless now that it is a mute switch… the mute switch was there the whole time on the volume button.

  24. Guest Says:

    #Apple, change the #iPad switch back to screen lock!

  25. Guest Says:

    Apple, you turned a one step action (flick the switch) to a four step action (doulbe tap, swipe, push, double tap)…how is this good?!

  26. Jeff Says:


  27. Cancan Says:

    Agree, the new button config is obsolete. Old button was much more useful. Furthermore, either i don't know how to unlock the rotation or the new OS makes my Safari hang.
    Give me back the old button!!!!!!!