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iPad iOS 4.2 beta changes screen lock to a mute switch

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Wed September 15, 2010

Orientation lock changed to mute switch

Several videos showing iOS 4.2 beta 1 running on the iPad have surfaced, shortly after the build was seeded to developers. As expected, the updated OS will bring the iPad up to speed with the features initially added to the iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 4.0. Apple appears to have changed the function of the orientation lock, which now works as a mute button in the first beta.

Users will still be able to lock the screen orientation without navigating through the device settings menu. A virtual button has been added to the iPad's multitasking toolbar, quickly accessible with a double press of the home button.

A video preview posted on AppAdvice shows the multitasking toolbar, which is limited to six app icons in portrait mode. iOS 4.2 also brings AirPlay integration, which can be accessed from the photo utility for streaming images to the latest Apple TV hardware.

The list of features in iOS 4.2 will potentially change as Apple seeds later betas to developers. The final version is expected to be ready in November for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

by MacNN Staff




  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad UI choice

    Given that this will significantly alter the way this works from the delivered iPad that millions of owners are using right now. It would be bad to add more clutter to the settings app, but this should be a user-selectable function for this switch if they want to change it back to the ill-received way that the iPad was originally pitched to work.

    -- Len

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad Call

    The orientation lock is a major feature that my father--a technically competent older user--likes. That switch was initially advertised as mute, if I remember correctly, but they wisely changed it to orientation lock before the iPad shipped.

    Having it user configurable would be one thing, but it would be a major mistake to change the function of a hardware button, and frankly it would be a major mistake to take away the orientation lock as a default feature. Maybe Apple's UI testers have found people confused by its function, but based on the people I've seen use it, I doubt that.

  1. sharien

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reversing a right just makes a wrong

    Based on the usage patterns of every iPad user I know, rotation lock gets used much more than mute. The switch needs to stay the way it is. I don't care for the extra steps to get to the virtual version, that's a royal pain in the arse when you just want to stop the screen from flipping around on you.

    If this is set in stone then it's definitely a step back IMHO.

    Here's hoping for a preference setting or I'll just have to jailbreak again (like I'm not going to anyway :-)


  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Mute as it should have been...

    This is the way it should be for usability reasons. It's too confusing to have a software rotation lock on the iPod/iPhone but a hardware rotation lock on the iPad. There should be a level of consistency. I for one will be ecstatic if this change sticks because I had having to always adjust the volume all the way down when I want the iPad to be muted. The switch should operate just like the switch on the iPad. In my opinion, the only reason it changed function in the first place was because the software rotation lock wasn't ready yet.

  1. facebook_Amit

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    A mistake

    Changing a hardware feature is a very big mistake. It would get too many people confused.
    I think it may just be an error the developers forgot to change, as it is more than likely they developed iOS 4 for iPhone then Ported it to the iPad, rather than building up from iOS 3.2 for iPad.
    It seems that the switches functionality is the same as the iPhones as they havnt adjusted it yet.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are we a nation of stubborn idiots?

    Changing the switch to do something else should only "confuse" the user for a very, very brief time until they become accustomed to the new action of the switch.

    It's not like we're all so stupid that we'll forever be confused by the switch doing something different. Even your 85-year-old father will catch on sooner or later and the iPad will be just as magical for him and everyone else as the day they bought it.

  1. OkieDoc

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Seriously? How often does one need to 'mute' their iPad/iPhone/whatnot? Can't you just as easily hit 'pause'?

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