For some reason, It’s never been a big deal to me until today. I bought a case specifically so I could use my Nexus 7 supported in portrait mode. I’ve also toyed around with editing the build.prop file on the Nexus 7 to get the home screen to rotate, but that wasn’t enough. I installed Spotify on my Nexus 7 today to hook it up to my home stereo, and it wouldn’t rotate. It doesn’t sounds like a big issue, but the headphone jack is on the bottom of the Nexus 7, so supporting it in portrait mode isn’t an option. I guess I could have laid it down, or just propped it up landscape style and looked at it sideways, but both sounded irritating. So, I went on a mission to figure out how to deal with this Nexus 7 orientation issue. Here’s what I found…
Set Orientation, a free app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. You don’t even have to be rooted. It’s crazy simple. As can be viewed from the first image below, when you open the app you get a list of orientation options. If you want it to automatically rotate to whatever orientation you’re using, select ‘Automatic.’ With this automatic setting, you can view your Nexus 7 lockscreen, home screen, and app drawer in landscape mode. It even forced Spotify to rotate for me which is awesome. Additional to the automatic settings, Set Orientation can can force your device to have all sorts of different orientation scenarios. So, for free, I’m pretty stoke on this app.
Some things I’ve noticed that weren’t great or that could be improved with Set Orientation… First, there’s no option to have it start on device start-up. So if you want your automatic orientation, you need to go open up the app. Additionally, when you have the app on, there’s a constant notification in the status bar letting you know you have Set Orientation on. It’s not a huge deal, but I wish I had the option to turn that off. The less crap in the status bar the better for me. Lastly, as pointed out in the XDA thread I point to in my How-To: Get Your Nexus 7 Home Screen To Rotate post, having Set Orientation on when playing games yields some serious stutter in game play. I can definitely confirm this. So, I’m digging the possibilities with this app, but there is room for improvement.
So there you have it. A free, non-root solution to get your Nexus 7, or any Android 2.3+ device to rotate. A big thanks to faganm24 on XDA for pointing this app out. Let us know if you’re using it or trying it out and what you think by commenting below… Am I making a big deal out of a small thing with this screen orientation stuff? Does it bug you guys too?