When iOS 4.2 gets rolls out to iPad users sometime in the coming weeks, the button on the side that, until now, has prevented the screen from swapping between portrait- and landscape-mode will become a mute switch, just like it is on the iPhone. However, since this is clearly a software-managed control rather than being hard-wired, some users were hoping that this might be configurable somewhere in the settings.
Unfortunately, Steve Jobs has made it clear to a 9to5Mac reader via email that no such user configurability will be a part of iOS 4.2. The decision has been made, and that’s that… or at least it is until some handy hacker develops a tweak to modify the iPad firmware after 4.2 gets jailbroken. Theoretically, someone could also create an app to provide that capability, but it too would have to be exclusive to jailbroken iPads — Apple doesn’t allow modification of hardware controls.
There is some thought behind this, though. In iOS 4.2, in the multitasking bar, there will be a rotation lock button, just like there is for the iPhone and iPod touch, currently. It will of course be easier to just use the switch on the side of the iPad instead, though.