Why iPhone Home Screens Don’t Rotate. Prior to iOS 14, users with a plus-sized iPhone model could navigate their home screen in landscape mode. This was particularly helpful while using your phone in the car for navigation, since you didn’t have to worry about the phone switching between landscape and portrait every time it returned to the home screen. But this feature is no longer available, and there are a couple reasons why.
Why iPhone Home Screens Don’t Rotate
First, has to do with Face ID. When the iPhone X was released, it was the first model to feature a notch that contained Apple’s TrueDepth camera system. This technology allowed iPhones to be unlocked with just a glance. A feature Apple called Face ID. Previously, the fingerprint reader housed in the home button was used to unlock the device. But there was one problem, Face ID only worked vertically. If an iPhone was unlocked horizontally, the TrueDepth camera system would fail to recognize the user. So in order to provide a seamless experience, Apple prevented the home screen from rotating. That way, users would subconsciously learn to hold their phone vertically when navigating to the home screen. But why was the horizontal home screen removed from previous iPhones that didn’t have Face ID?
One of its headlining features were Widgets on the home screen. These tiles displayed information at a glance. And were previously only available in Today View. But adding Widgets to the home screen posed a design problem. How would the grid layout change while in landscape mode? Because squeezing several widgets onto the home screen in portrait wouldn’t work once the user rotated their phone. To avoid this issue, Apple decided iOS 14 should disable landscape mode if the user added even one widget to the home screen. Then re-enable the feature once it was removed.
Many people were frustrated by this decision, but there is hope that a landscape home screen
could return. In the upcoming release of iOS 16, support was added for landscape Face ID on iPhone
13 models. This could be a sign of Apple preparing a new landscape home screen feature to be introduced on a future version of iOS, but only time will tell.