Apps that can not chance screen orientation

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by dragon499, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. dragon499
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    dragon499 iPad Fan

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    This is annoying:

    Some of my apps will only work with one screen orientation. If I change the screen from vertical to horizontal, the graphics on the app do not follow. Is this due to bad programming? Is there some way I can hack this to make the programs behave kthat way I want?
  2. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    Yeah, I hear you on this. Normally, those I have found that do have this behavior are games or graphic apps which in some cases make sense. But it's not a bug, it was by design generally...

    VicoPad addict!
  3. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    In some cases it's on purpose - if the graphics absolutely need the screen to be in a particular orientation - but, in my experience, it's usually by bad design or 'lazy' programmers. Changing the graphics in an app from portrait to landscape mode can involve a lot of work on the part of the programmer because it's often necessary to completely redesign the layout - perhaps the display that looks OK in landscape mode simply won't fit in portrait mode.

    The API (application programmer interface) provided by iOS (the iPad's operating system) tells the app programmer which orientation the iPad is in - portrait or landscape - so that they can make the necessary adjustments to the graphics and other characteristics of the program. The app programmer can choose to ignore this orientation information and hold the graphics in either portrait or landscape though, irrespective of the actual orientation of the iPad. So, for example, if you were perverse you could design a 'joke' app in which the display was always upside down!!

    Tim
    Scotland
  4. DM51
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    DM51 iPad Junkie

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    I agree with Tim - it is LAZY programming. It would have been so easy for the developers to have incorporated it, but they just didn't bother.

    There are some surprising offenders, such as the UK Ordnance Survey's 1:50,000 map series. Their 1:250,000 UK map can be viewed in portrait or landscape mode, but their 1:50,000 ones are portrait only.

    Another is Skype. It's really quite surprising that they haven't yet woken up to the existence of the iPad - it is still an iPhone app.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  5. dragon499
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    dragon499 iPad Fan

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    The Skype App was the first that brought my attention to this. Since then, I have had the issue with 2 other apps:

    Missile Command Ultra is in Landscape, but upside down, as I can't use the Ipad cover as a stand, since the graphics will be upside down. Words with friends is stuck in portrait mode.
  6. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    My 3G service provider in the UK, '3', has an account maintenance app that is also stuck in portrait mode. It's a bizarre app, too, in that it lets you play a game to get through to your account. How weird is that?

    Tim
    Scotland
  7. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    But why blame the developers? They're just writing code to the functional specifications they're given, which is created by the app's designers and producers. Maybe the producers did not want the particular app in a different mode (for whatever reason) - the point here being, with so many people involved in the creation of a software, it's not nice to start throwing accusations without knowing the reasons behind certain decisions.
  8. jrhornung
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    jrhornung iPF Noob

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    How do I change the Skype screen orientation from portrait to landscape?
  9. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Haven't tried to do so, but I suspect the answer is "You don't." Skype is designed to be used with a phone which is conventionally used in a portrait orientation even if the phone supports landscape for some apps, e.g. viewing videos. One of the annoying facts about the iPad is that unless an app is designed specifically for it, the chances are that developers will ignore the device and focus on the much larger set of iPhone and iPod Touch users.
  10. Daedaleus
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    Daedaleus iPF Noob

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    Hi Tim
    Your explanation on "ipad orientation problem" is super, and understandable. But today is January 20 2012 and your info was dated April 3 2011. I have an ipad 2. Can i hope that the state-of-art has some actual solution or it is still the same as before? I my browsing and (temporary!) installing apps I've get at least 4 out of about 200 that is "lazy"! Is that still could be the norm/ Does anyone from apple API looked into this and tried to act?
    If you have any new information on this would you share it? If not still would you elaborate and answer?
    Thanks a million in advance
    Daedaleus, Beaverton Oregon
  11. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Sorry, Daedaleus, same problem exists today. In many cases I suspect that the developers derive their revenue primarily from iPhone sales where portrait mode is more commonly used. Your best option is to rate the app down and/or contact the developer. In general, I don't think you'll find that Apple views their role as policing the quality of the app once it has been approved. And if the app is "free," Apple has no incentive to encourage the developer to improve it.
  12. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I actually returned an app and did get credit for it for this very reason. By now, I would think that any app developer would automatically include both orientation options. Unless the app is designed and expected to be only run in one orientation they should all support it. No brainier.

    It's like a movie or a TV show getting released that doesn't support or isn't optimized for wide screen viewing. It's like....get with the program!

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