Many of you may remember that with the original iPad you had a switch on the side that allowed you to lock the rotation of your display into either portrait or landscape. Nice. Then along the way Apple switched the function of this switch to Mute. Many users complained about this switch and Apple ultimately did a compromise allowing you to choose a preference as to whether this switch Mutes or Locks Screen rotation. I have always preferred this switch to be set to Lock Rotation since there are already volume controls on the side. I set it to Lock Rotation and never looked back.
There’s still a Mute Function and You Need It
Little did I realize that not only was Mute still a “separate” option, but very necessary until iOS 5 came out with the Messages App. With the Messages App you can send iMessages (txt, picture messages, etc) to other iOS 5 users. I love this feature, but there was one big problem. Even with the volume turned all the way down on the side (which I assumed was doing the same thing as Mute) of the iPad incoming iMessages would still sound an alert. This drove me so crazy one night that I got up and turned the iPad OFF. I couldn’t believe that Apple wouldn’t give any controls for alert volume for this App if they were going to ignore the volume controls on the device itself. After doing a little research I found out that both FaceTime and Messages ignore the volume controls for incoming communications, but they do respect the Mute function. Yureka! I found a way to use iMessage but not have it disturb me at night or while in meetings. Even if you have your side switch set to Lock Rotation, you can always access the Mute feature by double tapping the Home button and swiping the task bar to the right. Tap the Mute button and your iPad will be totally muted until you un-mute it. I hope this helps those of you who have been frustrated by this issue.