Are you one of the lucky ones to receive the Android 9.0 Pie update? The new version of the Android operating system looks gorgeous and packs intuitive improvements, one of which removes the frustration of auto-rotating the screen.
Smartphone users all over the world know how annoying it is to have Auto-rotate turned on, as the faintest change in orientation of the phone can sometimes convert the whole screen to landscape mode at inopportune moments. Google has a simple cure for this in the latest version of Android, and it involves turning off Auto-rotate completely.
For older versions of Android, all you can do is keep Auto-rotate on or off. When it’s on, put your phone in landscape orientation, and the app will match that mode. Turn it off, and every app stays locked in portrait orientation. Keeping it off is less frustrating than dealing with random screen rotations, but turning it back on when you need landscape mode isn’t a swift action.
Android 9.0 Pie’s new method is much simpler and easier to use. If you have the update, first turn off Auto-rotate. Swipe down to open the notification drawer, find the Auto-rotate quick settings tile, and tap on it to disable it. Now your phone is locked to one orientation.
Once screen rotation lock is disabled in the notification drawer, open any app you wish to use, and rotate your phone to landscape orientation (some apps — like Instagram — don’t support a landscape mode). You’ll notice the app doesn’t convert to landscape mode — but you will see a new icon appear to the right of the home button. It has two arrows in opposite directions, forming a rectangle. Tap it, and the app will swap to landscape mode. Now if you switch back to portrait orientation, you’ll see the same icon appear again. Tap it once more and you’re back to portrait mode. This is a much faster system of swapping through screen orientations, as you don’t need to swipe down to open the notification drawer.
The new screen rotation feature is only available through Android 9.0 Pie, so you’ll have to wait until your smartphone manufacturer pushes out the update. If you’re wondering when your phone will receive Pie, don’t fret: We contacted every major handset manufacturer to ask when they plan to update their devices.