If you’re using Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (Preview), and according to today’s poll many of you are, then you’re probably enjoying the benefits of the new screen rotation orientation lock.
A long sought after feature, albeit minor, is the new setting that allows you to lock the OS in place so that it won’t auto-rotate—great for when lying in bed. In fact, it’s your third favorite feature right behind the preview program and ‘X’ button for closing apps.
There’s just one problem: the orientation lock settings are a pain to get to. If you want to toggle the orientation lock, you need to hop into Settings, scroll down the massive list of choices, find the orientation lock and then toggle it. It’s far from ideal in terms of efficiency. Microsoft could easily fix this by making the setting pinnable to the Start screen for easy access, and hopefully they will for the final release.
Luckily for now, users who are running Update 3 also have developer unlocked devices—there’s no other way to have received the latest version of the OS. That also means you can sideload so-called ‘homebrew’ apps, which are apps not cleared in the Store.
Developer and Windows Phone Central frequent member Bailey Stein has posted a cool little XAP to enable a Tile for the orientation lock. You can see what it looks like in the lead image above. It allows small, medium and double wide sizes and tapping it brings you right to the toggle switch. Clever. Simple. And to the point.
Hopefully Microsoft will do this themselves for the final release, but for now, if you have Windows Phone SDK tools installed, you can just load up the XAP thru the deployment app on your PC and push this baby to your developer unlocked phone. You can find the XAP via the source link below.
Source: Bailey Stein (blog); via Windows Phone Central forums
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.