I upgraded my iPad to iOS 4.2 today. I was so happy. Then I spent 30 minutes wondering why I lost my audio… until I remembered one of its new “features”: Transform the iPad’s screen lock into the mute switch.
Yes, I’m dumb. After writing and whining about it for months, I completely forgot about it. But if I forgot about it, you can count that most of the consumers who bought the iPad will be having the same reaction: Why there’s no audio and why the bloody screen won’t stay put in the position I want it to? In fact, everyone in Gizmodo staff testing the iOS 4.2 beta has hated this new “feature” for the last two months. They just couldn’t get used to it.
Apple argues that this is to help developers and make multitasking better, but they provide a software lock, which kind of defeats their own argument. The other argument is that this unifies the iPad and iPhone’s switches, but while in the iPhone it makes sense as mute—because the iPhone is a telephone—the iPad is a reader and a multimedia machine. Orientation lock makes sense, which is why people need/want/love the screen lock switch whenever they are in bed or the sofa.
Now, users should click twice on the home button, slice their finger left and tap to lock the screen. Who the hell designed this bloody behavior? The developers of Mortal Kombat? Why not use the tap, tap, swipe left, swipe down, draw circle, double-click FINISH HIM! combo? Because that would be just as stupid as changing the widely known—and widely beloved—behavior of this switch to the mute function, which was already well served by the volume keys.
So here’s the deal, if you are one of the six million iPad users out there who, like me and everyone with iPads I know, loved the lock button to actually lock the screen, please write:
Hey Apple, change the iPad switch back to screen lock!
Write it in the comments or in your Twitter or Facebook pages. And please pass this petition around, spam your friends with iPads. We need the screen lock back where it belongs.