iOS 4.2 Release: Not all changes good for iPad

By Jamie Pert - Nov 1, 2010

If you head over to’s iPad pages you will see that iOS 4.2 is coming to iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in November 2010, obviously this will bring more features to the end-user, however not all of the changes are going to be popular with all iPad users.

According to Apple, iOS 4.2 will add over 100 new features and innovations for iPad users to take advantage of, including mutitasking, folders, AirPlay and AirPrint, however if you are a fan of the screen location lock button we have some bad news for you.

A recent article posted on 9To5Mac suggests that the screen location lock button will become a mute button, if you check out their article and scroll down to the comments section you will see that this news is very unpopular, one reader suggests that he will jailbreak his iPad to change this, another says that holding the down key for 2 seconds mute’s his iPad, however excluding the button that will be changed there is no quick and easy way to lock screen rotation.

We would love to see what you thought of this news, therefore feel free to have a rant in the comments section, we have embedded an image showing the proposed change below.

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Also See: iPad X release date hype for 2018 after concept

  • Angryatapple

    I was hopping apple would come up with lock rotate function for iphone. Instead they wastefully convert the lock button on ipad to mute function. Should i read this article earlier, i would not have update my ipad even for all the extra functions. All i want is to lay on my bed at night everynight reading articles or ebooks before i go to sleep peacefully. Not getting irritated at fighting the auto rotation.

  • Mark Weber

    The change is *very* annoying. We should campaign to at least have a choice in settings. The physical lock is so much better than the awkward on screen lock. Why should apple impose such a change on us?

  • AbigailAdams1

    QUESTION: Can we move the "lock screen" button fm down in the dock and up onto our screen? I liked having the button on the side; it was a big selling point when I bought my iPad– all the sales personnel made a point of demonstrating how "quick and easy the screen lock button works 🙂 :)" Now it's gone. And what are the benefits fm this new operating system that will override this point of irritation?

  • Klaus Bach

    What is not clear to me is why Apple changed this functionality without even give the choice to the users? Why not do a configurable switch (like the Home button)? One would go into Settings, choose the switch settings and configure according to their use: Lock Screen, Mute, etc… if its is configurable via iOS the functionality, they should have given the option of choice.

  • Johan

    There already was mute function in by long press the volume keys. Really miss the rotation lock. Is there a hack to fix this? I will jailbreak if needed.

  • Karin

    I am also rather torqued that the iPad 2 is not out in time for Christmas. I am considering purchasing an Android version. Anyone have any recommendations or am I in the wrong place for that?

    • AbigailAdams1

      No, don't buy an Android. The iPad is still great; it's still the best. Apple products actually WORK when one turns them on. The fact that a newer version isn't out for Christmas doesn't make iPad a lesser product or Android a better one. Why cut your nose off to spite your face?

  • Karin

    Thanks to the person that explained what the one button on the side of the iPad does (screen lock). I've had my Wi-Fi version of the iPad for a couple of months and didn't realize that there was a screen lock. It IS convenient. One of the things that irritated me the most about it was that the screen would periodically shift. And I guess I am slow on the uptake but it took me a while to see the 2X button in the lower right corner of my Rogue Touch game so that I could enlarge the app from an iPhone to iPad screen size. Thanks everyone!

  • anonymous

    i agree, it sucks to change this without an option. they should change it for the iphone/ipod instead. this was an excellent function. a mute button is useless, holding the vol down key automatically mutes. booo to usability expert wannabe who came up with this dumb idea.

  • Sebastian

    Apple’s vision is making products that are easy to use. Meaning that a Mac user can control iPads, iPad users iPods, iPod users iPhones etc. This vision is the exact reason why they are changing the function of the lock-screen-orientation-button. iPhone users don’t imidiate know which function this button contains. So by making it the same everybody now knows were those 4 buttons stand for at both iPhones and iPads. Because remember that we wizzkids are not the only iPad users. It’s also made for people that can’t understand imidiately were a button stands for. By the way, do you remember that big “thing” with that new iTunes logo? How we all didn’t liked it and could never see ourselves getting used to it?

  • Anthony

    Surely the best solution would have been for them to give the user the option as to whether they want the said button to work as mute or as screen lock!! In the same way as the home button can be programme by the user, why not allow us to programme what use we want for the autolock (or mute) button. Silly fools that they are….

  • Jan

    I have not used the button as much as others did, nevertheless it's easy to get used to a function and thus perform it without even thinking about it. As other users remarked, it does make sense on a phone but not on the iPad. Even though, the functionality of the button should stay unchanged for simple usability reasons or in the very least customisation of the button could have been offerred within the setting of the device, so a user can choose. I think it's pure laziness to differentiate the functionality of the button in the iOS for iPad from that of the iPhone, to keep them the same…
    I personally adore most Apple products ( my total conversion took only a year after getting a Macbook Pro) but also think that Jobs is slightly arrogant and susceptible to overating everything. And as much as I dislike the man, I also aknowledge how well he markets every tiny little thing, getting us all impatient andexcited. Guess that is for a different discussion.

  • Brett

    Breaking news! No orientation lock! Well that completely turns my world upside down. Why does the article make such a big deal of this? In 4.2 you can access the orientation lock via the task bar. Is this the best you can do Jamie? I'd also be happy if you discovered the full stop, instead of stringing separate sentences together with commas. It's ugly.

  • Mark

    Who knows it may be in the settings, we shall just have to wait and see, but really get a grip people it's not the end of the world is it? It's actually probably quicker to double tap home and press the hotkey rather than fiddle about in the dark to find the switch

  • Anthony

    I agree with Sokolum, They should make it so you can select the button usage in your settings so that you could have it as a screen lock or a mute. I prefer the Screen lock myself as I use my ipad as a digital portfolio and when I hand it to people that are not familiar with an ipad I don't want it to rotate. I find I use this feature more and more.

  • sokolum

    The slide screen-lock button is sold as a screen-lock button.

    I guess they will keep the button in that way, if not, then they actually broke that button.

    Other note, why they don't make it configurable? So easy and everyone will be happy.

    • iphone hater

      yes i agree with you. all the buttons should be configurable. I was using a nokia phone from past 2 years. except the green and red buttons , i can configure all the other buttons as i want. even the camera button can be used as screen lock or pause button, etc..
      I just hate when it comes to iOS.. its like a japan jail.

  • Pete

    The lock switch is useful in many respects. Changing the lock button into a mute switch simply duplicates the functionality that's already there – you can currently mute by holding down the volume rocker for two seconds.

    If true, this change is silly and irritating.

    • vhase

      The screen lock is available by simply double-clicking the home button. I've been playing with the beta for quite some time now – there is absolutely no reason to freak out about the change. Or write articles about it, for that matter. It's a non-issue. You will still be able to lock the screen.

    • IronMike

      The notification mute "Switch" and holding the volume button down to mute the entire device are two different functions. To say it's already there is not accurate.

  • Peter

    I want the mute button for one purpose: to mute commercials in Hulu and other TV apps. I very rarely us the rotate lock, but still want the functionality somewhere.

  • Anis

    Also for iPad 4.2 it's available as icon dock
    So it's not a big deal to change it, apple is doing the best always

  • Stephen

    Whats a Jailbreak, and how to do it? I like the Lock Feature, and if there is a way to keep it, great.

  • Redsabr

    It's no big deal. So you have to tap a soft key on the task bar rather than move a hard slider. The function is still there, just different. In light of all of the features we are getting, this change is irrelevant.

  • Rob

    I wonder if this will be called Lockgate or Mutegate

  • Rob

    It's almost like Mr.Jobs enjoys pissing off his users. I bet he loves poking bee hives too. It's like he's daring his users to abandon him. He's always calling our bluff. That smells like contempt (which I'm trying not to focus on cause darn it I love Apple products).

  • otto

    So that's the big news eh? Talk about link baiting.

  • loki

    With an Otterbox installed the switch is hard to use. I personally would rather have the screen lock on the screen.

  • Carol

    Why take away the lock button. It is a great feature. I don't want to have to go in and out of settings to set it. If they change it thempn they should let us user define the buttons as I have no use for a mute button. I turn the sipound down using the wait for it….. Those little sound up and down buttons that are already on the ipad right next to the lock button.

    • IronMike

      It's not in the settings. It's on the Multitasking Task bar. Double-tap home, swipe. It's there. Double-tap again, and you're right back where you left off in the same app.

      And the Notification mute switch does not work the same as the volume toggle buttons. Holding the volume down mutes everything. Not useful if you are watching a movie. But muting the alerts and pings from E-mail, etc is very useful while listening to your favorite playlist or movie.

  • CatG

    Please please please do not do away with the lock screen button. If I want to mute something I use the sound buttons and TURN IT DOWN…. Wow hard isn't it. Or you can use the mute button in the program. How silly to use the lock button for mute when there are already options. I like the easy convenience of being able to lock and unlock the screen easily.

  • Jimmy

    People lock their screen to keep it from rotating when they are reading in casual borderline positions like on their side in bed, on the couch, etc… In those positions, the ipad is often held somewhere between its horizontal and vertical and because of that, it can tend to autorotate when it is not desired. Also, if you hold it horizontally and then lie on your side, the ipad's actual orientation relative to the earth is vertical while it is horizontal relative to you, and that causes it to rotate into vertical mode. Locking it keeps that from happening so you can roll around and get comfortable without having to deal with auto rotate.

    That is why it is a real issue for some of us because we've gotten so used to it. It is not one of those issues that makes me hate apple though, but I do think it is completely asinine that they won't give us the option to redefine what that toggle does in the settings. That would seem an extremely trivial option to add and would make everyone happy, instead of a lot of us irritated.

    It's not the kind of thing where I'm going to go out and look for another tablet maker though, but it is the kind of thing that has me seriously considering a jail break for the first time. It's THAT irritating to me. Apple should keep in mind the total user experience and understand that adding this unnecessary irritation to people over small things like this doesn't score them any points at a time when the competition is starting to heat up.

    • Tony

      I agree with Jimmy. This is akin to changing double-clicking the home button on the iPhone to reveal the multi-tasking bar. Before iOS 4, users used to be able to designate what double-clicking that button would do from a list of several options (I used it to activate the camera). It seems backward to take away options that users have become accustomed simply to accommodate new features. Why not just make it one more option?

    • Michael

      But there will still be a screen lock option. It will just be software instead of hardware. It will only inconvenience people who are constantly locking-unlocking-locking-unlocking… which is not what you described. Double-click, slide, and press is not a big inconvenience in the situations you describe where the user only has to do it once before an extended session.

      The situations where the still-easily accessible screen lock wil be troublesome are rare.

    • Guest

      Finally experiencing missing rotate lock button. HATE it. Started looking For jailbreaks too!

  • Steve Conway

    I've had an iPad from the first week of availability and never knew a screen lock button existed, so I won't miss it.

    • Caz

      Try reading the news in bed on your side as it and the sit up lock it and lay back down on your side voilà easier to read I think you will fine. Also like now while I'm typing this while laying on my side in bed the iPad is the right way for me to see it. Go on, test it out.

  • Sarah J

    Why would anyone want to lock their screen. On the iPhone this makes sense, but the iPad is so large that there is no change that someone is going to accidentally rotate their iPad. And if they did, and the screen is locked and they will have to rotate their iPad back to landscape to use again. I see zero logic in all this lock debate. I have had my iPad for 6 months and have never once wanted to lock my screen.

    • Caz

      Like now I'm lying on my side in bed reading tis and my screen is locked so I can see it at the same angle as me not trying to read it while it is it's right way up. Try it.

    • anthony

      I lock me screen ALL the time!

    • Aidan

      Exactly what Joe said…. I do that all the time. It's one of the most useful functions and it is a pain with the new ios

    • TracyD

      Sorry, for some people this is a big fat ugly. The screen lock is my favorite feature and one of the reasons I jailbroke my 3G was to get a rotation lock on my iPhone. Some apps that I use actually change when the device rotates– the keyboard disappears or the news story I was reading is swapped out for a home screen, and I get to reload the article and find my place again. So now I either pester developers of these now-flawed apps to please redo their UIs to include manual toggles for the rotate-enabled features or I change some of the fundamental ways in which I use my iPad.
      This is a stupid change and I hope that it's just some bizarre artifact stuck in the gold master and won't be in the actual release.

    • pilotscooter

      The one with zero logic is you. I use mine when flying and when you're bouncing around in turbulence while trying to read a chart you want to be able to lock it with one quick movement of a switch with good tactile feedback.. This was very short-sighted on Apple's part. Give us the option in the settings to determine how we want the button to behave.

  • Joe

    So why have a mute button on an iPad ( it's not like I want it to ring silent for an incoming call – which is why it exists on a phone).. Rotate lock is a really useful feature if you read in bed or watch movies while lying down, when the position of the user in relation to the screen has the default outcome of the screen being the wrong way around. To mute a movie or a song has a simple on screen tap already. Guess Apple know how we want to use the thing better than the users do.. For me, the most useful thing they could have added is native texting in the 3G model – they didn't do that, they were too busy taking away the useful lock. Got my first android at the weekend… Voting with my wallet.

  • It really is a non news story they are making the button a mute button just like the IPhone and Ipod touch. As the previous commenter said the functionality is still available. Seems amazing that a story focusses on this other than the positives…..

  • Goodman

    As a guy who uses his iPad in bed a lot, I hate this. I use the screen lock function all the time. Now I'm going to have to double click the main button, slide to the screen lock, press the screen lock, then tap to return to my program. Over and over and over. I've never jailbroken my iPhone or iPad, but this might finally get me to do it.

    • IronMike

      "Over and over and over"? You do it once when you need it. I don't get it.

      What if you are watching a movie in bed, or listening to your favorite songs? Wouldn't it be nice to turn off all of the annoying audio alerts? Why should your movie volume mute to ping that you have a new E-Mail?

      All it takes is a double tap and a swipe and you're at the rotation lock. There is no need to turn on or off the rotation locking when the device is not in use. The switch becoming a notification mute switch (just like the iPhone) makes sense.

  • Alex Ryder

    I was annoyed when I first read this – but the screen lock functionality will still be available. It will be as for the iPhone 4 – via the icon dock

    • Caz

      Won't that mean you have to go in and out of what your in to get to it?

      • Bob

        No you just double click the home button swipe left and hit the icon.

    • AbigailAdams1

      I don't like this new change. QUESTION: Is there a way to move the icon fm the dock up onto the screen??