iOS 4.2 for iPad – Orientation Lock Switch is Now a Mute Button

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iPad orientation lock switch now a mute button

Here’s a small but notable change under iOS 4.2 (Beta 1) for the iPad.  The Orientation Lock button on the top right of the iPad is now a Mute button (as on the iPhone, though on the opposite side of the device). 

You now have an Orientation Lock button in the Multitasking Bar. My initial reaction is I prefer things this way.  I think I find the ability to turn sound on/off a more useful function for the hardware button, and I’m fine with going to the taskbar to enable/disable orientation lock.

What do you all think of this change?


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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17 thoughts on “iOS 4.2 for iPad – Orientation Lock Switch is Now a Mute Button”

  1. Meh, personally I would prefer if the hard switch remained orientation lock and they put the mute in the multitasking bar. I rarely ever mute my iPad, but frequently toggle the orientation lock back and forth.

    1. i agree. hardware switch to orientation lock is very useful. you can mute the ipad with holding "volume -" button.

  2. I agree completely. This was a crap decision by Apple. I understand it makes the function of the switch fall inline with that of the iPhone's switch – but the functionality of the switch is a waste on this device. It makes sense on the iPhone to mute the volume quickly and I use it all the time. But on the iPad which has a tendency to rotate the screen like its a freakin windmill, the switch was better served to lock that gerbil wheel in place.

  3. I agree with @xplocvo. One of the big attractions for me was the orientation lock, since I use my iPad while lying in bed a lot. Not that I'm lazy… but I mean, I use it at night before I fall asleep and in the morning before I get up. The ability to mute, for me, is pointless, especially given that I can mute by simply pressing and holding the volume down button, which mutes immediately after a 1-second hold. I'd rather have the option to toggle the purpose of the switch, in case my opinion changes, but forcing it to be mute only and not orientation is annoying. Not looking forward to that.

  4. Same here, liked it as a lock button but why not just make it an option? Else os is awesome! Love folders, multitasking and swedish language and keyboard!

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. Thinking about it more now, I agree with you. Have also noticed that this may not be all the way thought through by Apple – as the Volume button still seems to be doing the mute thing with a 2-second hold. Why have both?

  6. I definitely prefer it as a lock switch, I use it a lot more than mute. I hope they at least offer a way to toggle it in settings. If not I'm sure Jailbreaking will fix it!

  7. Did you guys noticed that Apple disable the APN settings? I created an APN config profile so I could use my 3G again (sets the Swedish network APN for Telia). Can't see why Apple disabled the option.

  8. I wish there was an option in the settings so the user can decide howthe hardware switch works, and the other option is in the multitasking menu.

  9. Not a fan of the change simply because you can already mute so quickly just by holding the volume down key for a sec. Seems unnecessary.

  10. Also, the mute switch doesn't actually mute anything. Switching it doesn't stop music or video sound. I assume it must do the email/calendar alert noise though.

  11. I like to old setting better. I frequently switch orientation (from book reader to mail, for example) and now I have to tap home twice, flick then tap again. Bummer.

    Its little things like this from Apple that annoy me: why no make the function of the switch user-settable in the general settings? That would be too easy I guess…

  12. Agreed on not liking it as a mute button, particularly as it doesn't work with all 3rd Party Apps. For example the mute switch does absolutely nothing when used with Sky Mobile TV – possibly the only time I would use the Mute switch. Am aware this is going to be the app, not device, but still annoying.

    Preferred things the old way, or would at least like the option, I find it hard to believe that people were complaining to Apple that it wasn't a mute switch?!

  13. Prefer it as a screen orientation lock also. But it’s just fine since you can easily lock via the 2-click, scroll right & click, and I do not use it that much. But the point is mute button is almost useless since you can just press down the volume switch and fast it is muted.

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