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2 Great Ways to Disable iPhone’s Auto Rotation Feature

iPhone’s built-in accelerometer offers a simple way to switch between portrait and landscape mode. As all know, you can simply rotate iPhone sideway and it responds automatically to display content in landscape. The landscape offers better reading experience for most applications and a wider keyboard for typing. When iPhone was first released, the landscape mode was only made available to limited applications (e.g. Safari). In response to a large number of user requests, since iPhone OS 3.0, Apple opened up this feature and apply it to all built-in iPhone apps (e.g. Notes and Text).

I love this slick feature. At the same time, I find it quite irritating for a simple reason: I hate it turn sideway when I lay in bed to browse web and check my email.

I’m not the only one complaining about this. Someone even setup a Facebook group named “I hate when my iPod/iPhone turns sideways when I lay in bed and use it!” that has already accumulated to over 10,000 fans. Probably you’re already one of them.

Why iPhone Turns sideway when you lay in bed

The accelerometer measures the angle of iPhone relative to gravity, rather to the user. Due to this reason, iPhone rotates sideway when you lay in bed.

How to turn off Auto-Rotation Feature

Here, I’ll show you two ways to disable auto-rotation for iPhone. As always, these tricks are only applicable to jailbroken iPhones.

1. iNoRotate
First, let’s take a look at iNoRotate. iNoRotate is a tweak that lets you completely or selectively turn off auto-rotation on iPhone. It’s a free application that is available on cydia. Once installed, you’ll find a new option named iNoRotate in Settings. To disable auto-rotation, you can simply switch the “Enable” option to ON to completely disable landscape mode for all apps. The tweak also offers additional option to let you disable applications selectively. Say, you want to keep the landscape mode enabled for Safari, simply toggle its associated switch to OFF. Please note for any change in the options, you’ll need to toggle the “Enable” switch to effectuate the change.

iNoRotate gives you great control of iPhone’s auto-rotation feature. But some of you may still think that’s not good enough. Say, you are now using the Safari with landscape mode disabled. For certain reason, you want to re-enable it while you’re reading a web page. In this case, you need to jump back to home screen, tap Settings and re-configure the iNoRotate option.

So, is there any easier way that you can enable/disable while using Safari or other applications? Okay, let’s check out another cydia apps.

2. Rotation Inhibitor for SBSettings
The second app named Rotation Inhibitor is a plugin for SBSettings that also allows you to toggle the auto-rotation feature within any applications. For those who do not know about SBSettings [Full review here], it is one of my favorite cydia applications that brings toggles to iPhone home screen. While using any applications, you can simply swipe the status bar to activate SBSettings. With rotation inhabilitor installed, just tap the inhibitor button to enable/disable auto-rotation.

Both apps work as advertised and offers you a full control of auto-rotation. However, if you would like to toggle the rotation feature anytime, the Rotation Inhibitor is definitely the best app for you.

Do you find the auto-rotation feature irritating? Should Apple offer us option to turn off this feature and let us control it manually? Feel free to leave us comment and let us know your thought.

Update: Since the release of iOS 4, Apple has added an option to lock iPhone in portrait orientation.

About Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

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  • violiance

    Thanks, it’s very useful.

  • Andy

    I’ve been wanting this for sooo long! It works great, BUT I want it to disable rotate for iPod ONLY…. :( add this feature please!

  • ViPuL

    Really……….simonblog…….rocks….!!

  • Norman

    How do I get Rotation Inhibitor? I’ve had my iPhone for less than a week and I’m ready to return it for this reason.

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  • Hdhhd

    I want to cry, thanks for the advice!
    Norman, you have to have a jailbroken iPod/iPhone in order to use these features.
    In wikipedia you can look for the latest jailbreak software, then look for that software over the web.

  • AK

    You don’t need to jailbreak your iPhone or add new apps just to disable auto rotate or lock the screen orientation. This feature is built into the iPhone OS 4

    Check out this instruction on how to do it:
    http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/97974

    • http://twitter.com/erikssone Erik Eriksson

      Right AND wrong!

      Only on iPhone 3G S and later… iPhone 3G does not have this feature, regardless of iOS version.

  • M M

    Huzzah! Death to coverflow! Thanks for providing such detailed info on these great tweaks.

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  • Dina

    Totally agreeing with Andy. I find this so irritating on the iPod. It just wont turn back fast enough or at all sometimes when I hold it straight, and I never use it sideways.

  • http://shootmefilms.com Arizona wedding videos

    More then useful. How do we get you with apple’s programming team?

  • http://devicegadget.com Device Gadget

    More Info iPhone’s Auto Rotation Feature
    http://devicegadget.com/iphone/gesture-guide-iphone-4-2/378/

    Thx.. :)

  • Candice

    If you have a 3GS you can double click the home button and scroll to the right and there is a lock symbols with a arrow around it. That is how to turn the auto rotate on and off.

    • lizzie

      Thank you thank you thank you a billion!!

    • Lynette

      Candice
      I love you
      thanks for posting

  • Candice

    I’m sorry it’s to the left not the right.

    • AG

      AWESOME!!! thank you! I knew there had to be something other than some silly app!!! YOU ROCK

  • http://sambeal.com sam beal

    it’s a standard setting option on a Kindle. Insane imposition by Apple’s UI God to not support it natively. I doubt they care or pay any attenrion to opinions on Facebook.

  • Kelly

    THERE IS A BUILT-IN FEATURE FOR THIS IN iOS 4! Press the circle button (I guess it’s the menu button) twice. Your most recent apps will show up at the bottom. Scroll to the left. There will be music controls and what looks like a refresh button on the left. Tapping the refreshy-looking button will lock or unlock your screen in its current orientation. :)

  • Abe Mer

    Doubble tap the button below your screen and scroll to the left when you see those aps appear. The last option is a lock feature that will show up in your tool bar. You don’t need a stupid ap.

    • ann

      Exactly. double tap the home button.. swipe your finger to the right (meaning that you’re scrolling to the left) and the last icon is the “lock” icon. select it to keep your phone from flip-flopping.

      Freaking Apple should’ve included this feature in ALL of its devices since an idiot would figure out that not everyone wants their phone rotating at will. You would think that Apple would get off its a_ _ and make it a part of everyone’s firmware update.

      I give Apple a big thumbs down for screwing that one up.

  • http://Www.yahoo.com Drunade

    Abe met, thx for the unknown feature that 3GS has I didn’t know

  • WTF

    IT WONT WORK ON PHOTOS. ONLY ON CAMERA…

  • http://technocurry.com raj

    I have 3.1.3 jailbroken iphone 2g and 3g, i want to rotate every app in iphone. do any crack available for this.

  • vijer

    Ya automatic rotation is terrible. The best way Apple should have implemented this feature is a key combination, something like, hold the home key and press an icon when you have Safari, Notes, etc. open.

    I think that is what should be done for move/delete apps on the home screens too. I can’t tell you how many times I have slipped my iPhone into my pocket unlocked and later found out apps were moved or deleted. Pressing the icon for an extended period to move/delete an app is plain stupid.

    • Emily

      Read my comment below

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  • http://Thisone? Alison

    Stops rotating on everything except the one thing I wanted to stop rotating, Facebook. :S

  • Emily

    For those of you who have iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s all you have to do is be on your home screen unlocked, and hit the home button twice. Then slid your finger across the bottom to the right and then an arrow in a circle will be there. Click on it in portrait position and then there you go it will stay like that!

  • Rykrus

    How do you allow the rotate feature again?

  • 3Gs v.3.1.2 Non-JB

    Has anyone invented an app for non-JB 3Gs iPhones still running iOS v.3.1.2 that will let you lock the screen when laying down stretched out in bed?

  • Aik

    Double click the button (the main function key), apps in process will appear … slide all to the right; you’ll see the rotation sign. tap or tap again to lock or unlock :)

  • Stefano Paolo Appliecci

    Yet another jb hack for a function that’s already there by default. When I was a kid, it was only cool to hack the uncool

  • Angehl8

    How funny Simon..there is a simple way to do that..simply double tap the home button menu and click the lock to portrait mode icon button located at the left..that’s it..

    • http://twitter.com/dylanequal Dylan Atkinson

      Thanx. The hacks seemed far from simple tho lots of fun… but in this case I really want to walk through the front door rather than break in through the upstairs toilet window.