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Jobs: iPad Hardware Switch Will Be Mute Only

by on October 24th, 2010

In January 2010, before the official iPad launch, Apple announced that the hardware switch on the side of the iPad would be a mute switch, similar to what is on the iPhone, less the vibrate.

However, as the official launch day approached, it was revealed that the supposed mute switch is becoming a screen orientation lock switch instead. As we know, orientation lock stayed as the feature for the iPad hardware switch.

With the upcoming release of iOS 4.2 in November, Apple is once again changing the hardware switch back to a mute feature. Orientation lock will now be software based, as with other iDevices running iOS 4.1.

As Apple has made these changes, one iPad user was curious if Apple would make an option in the settings menu for users to toggle between an orientation lock or mute for the hardware switch.

Well, to get the best Apple answers, we email Steve Jobs. So, the user asked:

In IOS 4.2 for iPad is the switch on the side going to be the mute and not screen orientation lock from now on?

Jobs’ reply?

Yep.

Sent from my iPhone

The user then inquired if there would be a toggle option available:

Are you planning to make that a changeable option?

And Jobs’ reply:

Nope.

Love it. So the hardware switch is mute only in iOS 4.2. Thanks Steve!

[9To5Mac]

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Posted under: iPad Firmware, iPad News

  • http://twitter.com/CPnieuws CPnieuws

    Oh come on. For the iPad a screen orientation lock is far more useful than a mute button. You don’t get text messages and phone calls on an iPad. :(

  • Aloombox

    Oh, WHY??? I love that switch to control the orientation, I hate the software version on the iPhone!! WTF is Apple thinking? If you want mute, turn the volume way down, there is not need for a mute button.

  • http://twitter.com/dustincook Dustin Cook

    I agree with Aloombox and CPnieuws. Why have 3 out of 4 hardware buttons used for volume control!?

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I use that orientation lock button all the time! Saves so much time.

    Sad to see it go, but the double tap on Home to set orientation is just as easy. We all do it on our iPhones anyways.

  • Iraaikman

    I love the orientation switch as well! The only one bright spot i can see with the change is when I slide the iPad into the various mounts and panels I’ve built for it, I won’t have to remember to check for the orientation switch being correct.
    Also, you may want a silence switch once they bring facetime to the iPad. I know the first gens have no camera, but looking forward, users may appreciate this feature. Just sayin

  • Mr. Speedy

    This is one of the stupidest decision has made in years! Since the iPad is such a great reading device (with iBooks and the Kindle app), I constantly use the switch to avoid my book turning on its side when I’m reading in bed. Holding the down rocker switch for 2 seconds to mute the iPad is more than effective. Make me want to NOT upgrade to 4.2 until a (jailbroken) solution is release to give me back my orientation lock. I DON’T want to have to double tap, slide to the right and tap again to do the same thing I can do so quickly with the hardware switch. Sorry Apple, you lost me here!