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.
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.