iPad’s Orientation Lock Switch Repurposed To Mute In iOS 4.2

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There’s an interesting change in the way iOS 4.2 handles orientation lock on the iPad… one that indicates a curious design backpedal on the part of Cupertino.

Previously, orientation lock on the iPad was handled with a physical hardware switch on the side of the device, but in iOS 4.2, it has been repurposed as a physical “Mute” button, with the orientation lock achieved the same way it is on the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch under iOS 4: through the multitasking tray.

It’s a minor but significant change that, I suspect, portends the elimination of the mute/screen orientation button on the second-generation iPad. For famously minimal and streamlined Apple, a physical mute button doesn’t make a lot of sense on an iOS device that isn’t a phone.

[via MacRumors]

  • Tsrlehto

     It can be changed in the general settings. The slide lock can be set for either Mute, or Lock Rotation.