Shake ‘n Rotate: Toggling auto-rotation with just a shake

April 16, 2012
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With how smartphones are becoming increasingly sensitive to even the smallest of things nowadays, it doesn’t take a lot of tilting to get the screen to rotate. For users who don’t want to put in a lot of effort to change their screen to rotate, this is a good thing. But, for others who find it extremely annoying to find their screens rotating to a position they don’t need, just because they’re holding their device off center, disabling auto-rotate is a must.

Who wants to check his or her phone while they’re lying down, only to find one’s phone screen moving into another position? For the most part, disabling auto-rotate solves our problem, but since we use our phones for a variety of functions, one orientation just won’t do. Taking pictures, for example, can be tiring when you need to breeze through your settings menu just to enable auto-rotation again. It takes extra time that you could be spending snapping shots of the perfect moment.

Thankfully, there’s Shake ‘n Rotate. Developed by Andrea Baccega, Shake ‘n Rotate is a handy app that enables or disables auto-rotation when you shake your Android device. Say goodbye to having to take a few precious seconds to manually switch auto-rotate back on when you can just shake the device. You need to look at a picture, for example, but you want to do that in landscape mode. If you’ve got auto-rotate disabled, simply shake your device and you’ll see an icon on the screen that indicates you’ve turned on auto-rotate. When you’re done, hold your phone back in portrait position, and shake it again to turn auto-rotate back off.

Since some of us shake more vigorously than others, Shake ‘n Rotate also comes with the option to control just how high its sensitivity threshold should go. Set it to “Sensitive” so that even the slightest of shakes can toggle auto-rotate. Set it to “Hard” if you’re planning to take a jog; this way, auto-rotate won’t be triggered while you’re working up a sweat. For most occasions, “Normal” should do the trick.

Unfortunately, Shake ‘n Rotate seems to have a few bugs and limitations. One of the main complaints users have is that Shake ‘n Rotate only locks in portrait mode and not in landscape mode. Other complaints were that Shake ‘n Rotate’s sensitivity threshold was still too high, even if it was set to “Hard.” This resulted in Shake ‘n Rotate being triggered in a user’s pocket while they were walking.

Some other users complained that while shaking works, shaking tolerance is not consistent. Sometimes the auto-rotate function locks or unlocks with as little as a 3-cm shake in one direction, or as much as a full minute’s worth of shaking. Others have complained that Shake ‘n Rotate drastically drains their device’s battery. Future updates may fix these issues and may improve compatibility with some Android phone models.

If you’d like to let Shake ‘n Rotate enable and disable auto-rotate for you, you can get Shake ‘n Rotate on the Google Play Store for free.

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