Orientation Lock Update
Posted on 02-20-12 10:09 am

Earlier in the month, we released Orientation Lock, which was an application that solved the oh-so-annoying problem of not being able to prevent your device's screen from rotating. Working on some general updates today, we implemented some tweaks to the application based on user feedback. Here's the moral:

  • Improved detection of whether the accel sensor is disabled or not; basically makes it remember if orientation lock is enabled based on whether or not the driver is reporting.
  • Landscape support is technically possible, though not elegant (see below)
  • Bug fixes

We did receive some criticism on calling a program "orientation lock" when it only forces the device into portrait. This is not entirely accurate. What it does is prevent the OS from knowing if it should rotate the screen. The orientation is locked until otherwise forced into another mode. This is a tricky subject, because the Start Screen and Fast App Switcher, for example, force the device into portrait. To get around this, you have to keep the orientation in landscape. Here's a basic scenario:

  1. Open desired landscape application (i.e. messaging)
  2. Open Orientation Lock
  3. Use the fast app switcher (hold down Back) to switch to Messaging
  4. Use the fast app switcher to go back to Orientation Lock
  5. Rotate into landscape and lock the orientation
  6. Press Back

As you can see, this method of operation is not particularly useful in a real-world scenario, but I also cannot think of a reason why you would need to lock the device in landscape in the first place, so I'll let the user base answer those questions. The reason why the process is so complicated is because the OS automatically changes the orientation to whatever the frame supports. Long story short, you can't really lock the orientation in landscape for multiple applications, and this is a OS limitation.

Anyway, the latest version can be found here. Tell us what you think, let us know if you have any problems. Cheers!

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