Landscape in Windows Phone 7: where is it?

Sometimes, when you post all of these stories you miss the obvious...

Luckily there is someone else out there to do just that and in this case, David K at Mobility Digest did by asking what's the deal with WP7 and landscape?

Case in point, a few shots of the not-sexy-but-functional LG Panther were featured yesterday, including at least two with the keyboard extended.  Funny thing though, neither picture shows the orientation changing with the landscape out.

Come to think of it, have we ever seen WP7 in landscape orientation? So what's going on here: early beta/feature not available; or, no it does not support orientation switching (but it does in the emulator)?

We're betting, nay hoping that since the emulator clearly allows landscape switching for certain apps, we'll see this in the final release. Actually, from our Zune HD experience, orientation switching is only allowed when 

  1. the program purposefully calls for it e.g. a game when you are "forced" switched
  2. a text-entry field is present and you rotate the device (optional)

However, this may mean that you cannot just willy-nilly switch orientation, like we do now in WM6.x  for every app just because you want too. In the above shots, there are no text-entry fields and the programs clearly don't call for -landscape=on, ergo, no landscape.

Thoughts? Feelings? Rant away...

[via Mobility Digest]


Reader comments

Landscape in Windows Phone 7: where is it?


I sincerely hope that it is just a flaw for this particular build and will be there in the final release. If it is not it will be just another flaw that counts against them like copy and paste.

I think it's a safe bet that it'll work like it does in the emulator, ie, probably per app. I dunno about the hubs, maybe having those in landscape doesn't work? It could screwup the UI i'd bet.

And really, text-entry is the reason you often switch to landscape imo. So if it does switch in those cases, as well as for gaming, the fact it doesn't for hubs might not be that big of an issue. Seeing how the hubs, or just the Metro UI in general is, it's setup to work best with more vertical space as appose to horizontal space.

I don't need (nor really want) landscape for every single screen on the phone. If I'm not typing something in landscape mode or viewing something that needs to be in landscape mode (video, internet, picture, game, etc...) then I don't need it and we know those things I mentioned will have landscape so I don't really care. But the whiny girls that want to find things to complain about will treat this like the worst thing ever.

You seem to forget that the ZuneHD works fine in landscape when using the browser, so it's just the audio player that does not have a landscape-mode, so it all comes down to what the application supports, just like other phones/pmps.

And I don't see any use of having a landscape mode in the Office-hub, the exception offcourse being when reading/editing a document.

On newer high resolution screens landscape is not as important as it used to be. It is only really needed for text entry (And even that's debatable) & media like video and gaming. Most modern smartphone OS follow this philosophy including web OS, Android, and Iphone OS. The Metro theme works well on the Zune HD, so why change it for Windows Phone 7.

I don't really care, I guess. I've pretty much resigned myself to either switching to Android in a few years when my Touch Pro 2 dies, or abandoning the whole smart phone concept altogether. As far as I can tell, WM 7 is just iphone-lite, even when compared against the original iphone. It doesn't stand a chance against iphone-4g or Android 2.2. I have yet to see even one positive thing about WM 7. It's like they went down the list of things I want in a smart phone and implemented the exact opposite of every single one of them!

You can't find ONE positive thing about Windows Phone 7? REALLY? REALLY? Now you're just flat out lying or you're the most miserable person ever.

I agree with you. Why doesn't Microsoft fix the mobile OS they already have instead of abandoning it and starting over. So much third party development will be wasted. All they need to do with 6.X is to get it not to freeze and market it. Walk into any AT&T store. There is a giant iPhone display. The Tilt 2 is in a corner, not advertised and a plastic band around it, preventing customers to behold the amazing keyboard. What did Microsoft expect? This new 7 series OS is bound to have so many issues and problems as all new mobile OS' have. Do they really think people care about App integration???? PEOPLE WANT SIMPLE, FUNCTIONAL AND RELIABLE!!!!

Microsoft is really doing everything they can to kill this platform:

- No swapable SD cards
- No multitasking
- No landscape
- No side loading of apps
- No copy & paste

Really? This is the best they can come up with after 3+ years of development?

If I had to guess, I'd say that rotation will occur in specific areas such as Excel, Word, Zune music/radio, text input, IE, etc. I don't see anything wrong with that. Why would you want to rotate a program that the developer never intended for the user to rotate? It just wouldn't look right.

I have an HTC Diamond 2 and when it was still pretty new, I enabled rotation in everything including the Sense screens. It was so annoying since every time I tilted the phone even slightly, I had to wait for it to come back to the proper orientation or flip the phone around. I'm also convinced it was killing my battery because it improved after I disabled the feature.

From what I've seen of code, you have to supply supported orientations, and then handle the rotation events. My guess is, since the code is nowhere near release, they've just got the UI working in portrait, and haven't implemented the rotated UI.

They have to support landscape in some sense. Imagine trying to sell Office capabilities to people when you have to use the keyboard with the program sideways.

"You see, if you want to compose a Word document, you just slide out the keyboard then turn your head 90 degrees to see what you're typing..."

I am trying to creating the game in XNA which is in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 .Now in getting started in XNA it took me a bit to figure out how to draw my game in the landscape orientation on the phone.