iPad Orientation Lock Becoming Mute Switch in iOS 4.2

The admittedly extremely useful orientation lock slider (shown below) will be getting re-purposed in iOS 4.2: mute switch, just like the iPhone.

While this may seem like a huge blow in usability to users with iPads already, it won’t be: identical to the iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later, iPad users will be able to double tap the home button, slide right, and voila: the screen orientation control will be there.

This is also via a short email conversation between Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and 9to5mac.com reader, Robert.

Robert sent the following email:

In IOS 4.2 for iPad is the switch on the side going to be the mute and not screen orientation lock from now on?

Which prompted this classic reply from Jobs:


Sent from my iPhone

Robert then proceeded to ask if this would be user-definable:

Are you planning to make that a changeable option?

And then Jobs reply brought the conversation around full circle:


While this new functionality is sure to be present a learning curve for existing users, I doubt that it will take long to get used to the new placement. Plus, with the addition of multitasking in the upcoming update, I doubt many iPad users will care much — multitasking makes this the tablet it should have been at launch.


Post a response / What do you think?