About six weeks ago we had a GearChat on ‘Rotation LockGate’, which discussed the change Apple made in the behavior of the side switch from rotation lock to mute switch. I voiced my displeasure about the lack of ANY communication from Apple, and also the inefficiency of the ‘work-around’, saying:
As for the difference in action, there are *FOUR* extra steps now: before you slid a switch and were done. Now: double tap home, slide at least one time to the left, tap the unlabeled orientation icon, and then click home again to get back to what you were doing. I don’t think it is possible for any reasonable person to argue that the change isn’t terribly inefficient.
Today the latest beta of the upcoming iOS 4.3 was released to developers, and amongst the changes noted was a software selection toggle to choose whether to use the side switch as a Mute or a Rotation Lock. From the article at MacRumors:
One of the more controversial changes made with the release of iOS 4.2 late last year was a change in the functionality of the switch on the side of the iPad, moving it from a screen rotation lock to a mute switch as seen on the iPhone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had even reportedly responded to a customer question by noting that the change was permanent and that it would not be a user-configurable option.
Apple appears to have had a change of heart, as today’s iOS 4.3 beta appears to have added an option in the device’s Settings application to allow users to customize the behavior of the switch.
If you look back to our Gear Chat, you will see that this solution will perfectly meet all of our needs – as well as every other iPad owner. I am sure that Apple will maintain Mute as the default behavior, but personally I really don’t care.
I really hope this feature makes it to the final release, as it will not only make me and other ‘random rotation haters’ happy, it will show that Apple is capable of two things some folks would say they cannot handle:
– Listening to customers.
– Allowing customers to choose for themselves.
If this does make it to the release version, will you stick with the mute, or will you revert to the rotation lock?