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March 12, 2012

Rotation Locker: Run Android apps in any orientation — Portrait or Landscape; Straight or Reverse

One  of the things that really irritates me on my Android Xoom tablet is that orientation of  a lot of apps, especially games, is fixed. Sometimes its understandable, when the app has been setup specifically for landscape or portrait. But many times an app capable of running in landscape mode, for ex, refuses to run in reverse landscape mode, when it should be perfectly capable of doing so.

This is probably due to the focus of the developer on phones, which are rarely, if ever, held in the reverse direction. Still, being on a tablet, this is incredibly frustrating, especially when the device is connected to the charger or the PC and I want to hold it in a particular way.

Fortunately, there is an app which can help add this functionality to Android and the best part is that almost all the apps are compatible!

Rotation locker

Rotation Locker is a simple, but very effective app developed by an XDA member, madmack. It does only one thing, without too many options, but does it very well.

The app allows the current screen orientation to be locked, whether it is landscape or portrait. After that any app which is launched will be forced to accept the current screen orientation and run in that mode. So one can force to app to run in reverse landscape or even the unsupported modes which may be either portrait or landscape, depending upon the app.

Some apps designed for portrait wont look great on landscape and vice-versa, but they will still run.

Let's look at the app options. I have never been able to reliably run the Portrait and Landscape mode properly, but the auto mode works great on my Xoom. Once you select Auto, the app will run in whatever orientation the screen currently is in, which is exactly what I want.

One can also make the app run as a service, by long pressing any of the the option. So, long pressing Auto will make Rotation Locker run in the background, which is what I would recommend.

Have a look at the screenshots below of Dungeon Raider, a game which works in only one portrait mode, and not even in reverse portrait. Using Rotation Locker the game  can be run in Landscape, Reverse Landscape as well as Reverse Portrait, which mean I can hold the tablet the way I want. Fantastic!

Download:Rotation Locker

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