That iPad switch

Published December 7, 2010

I know I am late to the complaining party regarding the latest iOS upgrade on the iPad, but I have to get my rant down in black and white, otherwise it will just swirl around in my head forever more.

The iPad used to enjoy the luxury of a volume switch on the side, alongside an on/off toggle that would lock the orientation of the screen. If you’re swinging the iPad around a bit, it would stop the screen switching direction like a mad thing. As I primarily use the iPad for reading books and watching TV which are best not flailing around, that switch was very useful.

The latest software update (which may or may not be iOS 4.2, I’m not good at keeping on top of the numbers) changes the orientation lock to a mute switch.

  1. That is not useful to me.
  2. You can mute by simply holding down the volume control, which is actually a lot easier to do.
  3. This button doesn’t actually mute. I learnt later that it was only to mute notifications and alerts rather than video or audio playback. I don’t know what there is on the iPad that makes noisy alerts, but perhaps Apple have something exciting planned?
  4. Locking the orientation now involves a double click of the button, a swipe and then a tap. Far more steps for what was a simple ‘click’ before.
  5. Why change it?
  6. Did I mention it doesn’t actually mute and is essentially now a useless button?
  7. Why not give us the choice to have it back the way it was?
  8. My video is forever spinning about now. It’s quite irritating and it makes me dizzy!

I’ve read that the button was originally intended to be a mute button and was switched at the last minute, which raises a whole heap of other questions. Who made that decision? Why? Why have they changed their minds back again? Why do I now have a useless button? Why, why, why?

People (including me, you might have noticed) are very het up about this. Some have devised ways and means to get the button back again but these are solutions that use far more intelligence than I have. I’ve also seen a petition or two, and I’d eat my hat if there wasn’t a Facebook group demanding the button returned to it’s former glory.

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