As MacRumors points out, Apple changed a switch function on its iPad as the company opened up pre-order sales today. (Click here to see why we just ordered one.)The switch, which previously muted the iPad’s volume, now locks the iPad’s screen orientation, so it doesn’t flip from portrait to landscape or vice-versa while you’re using it. This could be especially helpful for reading in bed, or shifting positions on a couch.
It is curious that Apple devoted a hardware button to this simple function, so it must think it’s a serious enough problem. On the iPhone, developers such as Amazon and Instapaper made it a software setting, which greatly improved those applications.
One potential problem: This throws a hitch into developers’ plans that they didn’t know would previously be there. Beyond potentially redesigning interfaces, it may delay some iPad software releases.
“I have a sinking feeling the new rotation lock on the iPad will introduce bugs that cost us some engineering time,” iPhone developer Dave Howell tweets.
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