Those with long memories will remember way back in the time before iPad, that the initial announcement showed hardware that included a handy-dandy mute switch ala iPhone. Fast forward to the iPad launch and this switch magically transformed into a rotation lock. It was universally agreed that this new lock was a stroke of genius on a device you are constantly moving, waving and holding at strange angles to read with. Random rotations are not fun!
All was well until the iOS 4.2 betas started to appear. Now, the switch once again mutes all audio with rotation locking handled by the multitasking tray just as it is on an iPhone running iOS 4.x. This change is causing much constellation in the iPad world, which led to one inquisitive gentleman asking Apple CEO Steve Jobs whats going on.
When asked whether the switch will continue to function as a mute switch, Jobs gave a characteristically terse ‘yep’ in reply.
The next, inevitable question was whether users would be allowed to select what the switch does via software. The answer? ‘Nope’.
So there we have it. We’re stuck with the mute switch. I say ‘we’, but personally I prefer the new way of doing things, if only because it provides parity with my iPhone. I’m fully aware I’m on my own there though.[macnn]