Does iPad 4.2 mute switch make more sense for iPad 2 with FaceTime?

Does iPad 4.2 mute switch make more sense for iPad 2 with FaceTime?

The godfather of iOS development, Craig Hockenberry wondered out loud on Twitter about just why Apple would change the iPad's hardware orientation lock to a mute switch in iOS 4.2, and if it could be related to future, FaceTime-equipped iPad 2 hardware:

When (not if) an iPad has FaceTime, will silencing the alerts be more important than orientation? Depends on the person and how they use it…

If iPad 2 is shown off in January and ships in April, it will certainly still be running iOS 4.x.. So when it makes FaceTime calls, does an iPhone-like mute switch make more sense?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Does iPad 4.2 mute switch make more sense for iPad 2 with FaceTime?


Maybe "more" sense, but not enough sense.
I would still need an orientation lock when I am NOT in Facetime, I can always mute the way I do now, with the volume button, and finally, Facetime isn't a big enough deal on the current crop of camera-less iPads to FORCE us to accept this hardware functionality change.

It does, but for the older generation iPad, it shouldn't change, or it should be an optional software change.
I notice how in the iPhone, you now have the option to disable the volume buttons from messing with the ringer and alerts volume, so why can't they make this an option for the iPad, with the lock orientation/sound switch?

You know, there has GOT to be some reason they are doing this. It would be ridiculous for apple to do this with this much public opposition.
Or maybe they're just doing it to piss us off, but I seriously doubt that.

iOS 5 for the iPad will ship after June '11? I thought that after iOS 4.2 this November, all iOS devices will be under one umbrella and that all of them will be updated whenever there is an update to be had for iOS?

Seriously, I've been using the iPad betas for weeks now - and it's not that big of a deal, your all hyperventilating over a total non-issue.

I think the 2nd Gen iPad should not have a rocker switch at all for muting or orientation lock. Tge reason it's going to a mute switch is because Jobs wants all iOS devices to be streamlined with their interface. So...a dedicated mute switch on an iPad makes no sense to have the additional button like it does on a phone. Just get rid of it all together since it sounds like it's going to be a software switch from here on out.

I think the iPad will be previewed and released in March. Why would they have 3 months between announcement and Release. iPhone, iPod Touch, and Mac Book Air were released immediately.

Amazing how people always cheer about Mac/iOS products as superior to the competition because they sweat the little things, but then when Apple screws up a little thing, it is "not that big of a deal" and people are "hyperventilating."

@frog - it depends how you use your iPad - for me it IS that big a deal! So much so that I'm considering a jailbreak when one comes available (something I've not done in 3 years of owning iPhones/iPads) just to get the orientation lock button back. I have upgraded my 3G iPad to iOS 4.2 for dev work, but I'm leaving my WiFi model on the old version for that reason alone. The screen orientation lock is one of the most useful feature on an iPad for me, and to switch it from being a single hard-switch to a double click (that doesn't always work and sometimes kicks you out of the app you're using) then a slide over, then press the lock button, then another click to get back to your app is such a pain in the backside that it seriously reduces my enjoyment of my iPad.

I dont know why this is difficult to understand.... The iphone has a physical mute switch and an orientation lock in the dock.... the iPad should be the same... why have 2 buttons that do the same thing once 4.2 is out... just so you can have a physical button and a touch...?
seems like common sense to me....

@Josh - Hey Josh, you're right.
BTW, Should I buy the current gen. iPad or wait and buy the 2nd gen iPad?

To respond to Buying the first gen or waiting for the second gen Ipad. If you guys go to You will notice that From the launch of ANY apple product within 7 months there has been another version released. This goes for every single product apple has excluding the xserve which is not aimed at companies not consumers. So taking that into retrospect on November 4th would be the seventh month of the Ipad release, so I would be willing to gamble that we will be seeing a pre/black friday release of the new Ipad. Wether it is a storage ugprade, or a reduced cost. A change is more then likely to occur.
Just my two cents.....

Did anyone else file a bug report? I filed one saying that this was an unexpected and user unfriendly feature change and they said it was a known issue that they were looking into.
From the dev forums, the consensus seems to be that 1) there are valid reasons to do this and 2) the software orientation lock is too cumbersome as it's currently implemented. So we may see some improvement to that software lock in good time. Probably not in 4.2.

Apple should developing facial recognition software that can tell when you want it landscape and when you want it portrait.
The button should then be mute. ;)

It will continue to make absolutely no f@£$ing sense for iPad gen 1 owners! Will I be getting facetime? Jobs has a pretty powerful personality but I don't think that power extends to making a camera appear on the face of my gen 1 'pad. So the change remains very irritating. To me and the millions of other 1st gen owners
The Software lock works fine on the iphone, not on the iPad, its slow and clunky in comparison.

Omg! Are you serious. You guys barely figure this out now? We've been (well at least i have been) saying this since the rumor started happening! Ugh, slowness.

I was recently in a hotel room that had the cold water on the left and the hot water on the right. Who gives a damn? Quit whining and adapt. :roll:

Typical, immature, "everybody's needs should be reflections of my own" commentary...but at least it from a small minority, this time. Fastlane and frog...

I am having trouble understanding why you would want a speaker mute in facetime. I can see a mic mute for a side conversation but since you are on camera..? Since you are looking at the video chat and screen on your touch screen device, seems like a good place to tap for mute. If I am tired of listening to someone, end call makes more sense than mute. I mute my phone in meetings, but iPad has no vibrate? I usually leave the volume on 0 or 1 bar anyway because it beeps incessantly if email or push is on. Yet another reason to jailbreak.