I’ve recently posted about the iOS 4.2 change of the Orientation Lock hardware button on the iPad into a (redundant and half-assed) mute switch, and how many users are not happy at all with the change.
Well, as so often happens, the jailbreak community has provided a solution, and one that Apple could easily have provided themselves. There’s a new app in Cydia (the jailbreak app store) called NoMute for iPad. It changes the function of the hardware button back to its former one as a screen lock. Great stuff. If I was still jailbroken I would be installing NoMute right away.
NoMute is a free (jailbreak) app and is published via the BigBoss repo.
News via: 9to5Mac
One change that came with iOS 4.2 that has gone down like a lead balloon with many iPad users is the switch of the Orientation Lock hardware button (the one just above the volume control on the top right-hand side of the iPad). It is now a mute switch rather than an orientation lock.
This is despite the fact that for a tablet device like the iPad, one that even Steve Jobs talks about as an ‘intimate’ device and that many of us use while laying in bed or on a couch etc, the orientation lock is a hugely useful control. One that most of us would like to have as easily accessible as possible – just as it was originally via a hardware button.
Now that same hardware button is a mute switch, and not even a very good one at that. It’s a mute switch for system sounds only – so if you toggle it off you won’t hear a sound when you send a mail or receive new mail, for example, but you will still hear audio in a game or a music app. So it’s a half-assed mute switch positioned directly above the volume control, which provides a perfectly effective real mute switch – just hold down the volume lower part of the volume control for two seconds and you mute all sound.
John Gruber at Daring Fireball on the change of the iPad’s Orientation Lock button to a mute switch:
What’s weird about this change is that I don’t think anyone is happy about it. It seems like Apple is standardizing for the sake of standardizing, not for improved usability. The iPhone and iPod Touch are, for many people, audio devices. But the iPad is a reading/viewing device for most of us.
Exactly. That’s the same impression I get when it comes to the reaction to the change.
Since the iPad launched, the button at the top of the right-hand side of the iPad has been used as an orientation lock. Under the iOS 4.2 betas, the button has been changed to a mute switch – and apparently that change is going to become a permanent one when iOS 4.2 is released to the public next month.
According to a report at 9to5Mac, Steve Jobs has confirmed the permanent change in another of his direct email exchanges with a user.
So in iOS 4.2, the top right button will be a Mute button and the Orientation Lock will be toggled via a button in the Multitasking Bar, just to the right of the iPod controls.
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?