How Much Do You Lock Your Phone?

iOS & iPadOS

I know that it is a bad idea to try to poll people, but I'm doing some accessibility testing for an app and a web site that has a lot of stuff going on, so I wanted to know how much people in the blindness community keep their screen on their IOS device locked in portrait or landscape mode. This is because the app has different behavior it activates in response to various devices, and they want to make sure that some problems can be solved by changing behavior to compensate for accessibility issues with Safari. One problem is that they want to freeze some information on the screen, visually, while other parts scroll. We already know that a bug in Safari prevents some of this from taking place. The developer wants to be able to take advantage of the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screens, while still allowing the app to behave properly on iPhone 5S, and look good, so they are exploring having some screens work in both portrait and landscape modes. So, how confusing is it for you when you have to switch back and forth from portrait to landscape, and is it so confusing that you choose to keep your phone in one mode or the other?



Submitted by DPinWI on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I lock my phone in portrait mode. On the rare occasion i need it in landscape, either the app just does it, or I unlock. Having it always locked makes it more consistent to use the phone in my pocket, or on a desk. I like knowing the physical top of the phone is the top, whether the phone is upside down or now.

Submitted by kingdekka on Thursday, September 17, 2015

It's a lot easier to keep the phone locked in portrait mode, especially for a lot of uses a voiceover.

Submitted by Kyle on Thursday, September 17, 2015

my phone is locked as well in portrait mode. however, if an app needs landscape ios will put it in landscape.

Submitted by Jim Homme on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Does it matter what kind of phone you have? For example, I have an iPhone 5S, but if you have a newer phone, with a bigger screen, do you still lock it?

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I don't feel that locking my phone in one mode makes a difference to my phone experience so don't lock it. I think that the phone will switch if needed and we should be fine with it. As long as you get testers to iron out all the accessibility bugs they can find, everything should be fine.

Submitted by Serena on Thursday, September 17, 2015

hi. i don't lock my screen to one or the other, excepting in very particular situations. in fact, it can depend on what i'm viewing. sometimes, for example, i have my screen on my iPad in the skype app, in landscape, cause it lets me have the list of chats down the left side, and the chat window i'm working in on the right. so i find that i do like landscape if it works well.

Submitted by Hey-June on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I lock it in portrait. I found it confusing to leave it unlocked. I use an iPhone 5.
June I.

Submitted by Jeff on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I've never locked my screen orientation, but I virtually always use it in portrait mode. This was true for the 2 years I used my iPhone 5 and it's still true now with my iPhone 6.

Submitted by Andrew on Friday, September 18, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

I always lock. This way, the VO gestures are always the same direction relative to the phone.

Submitted by Andy B. on Friday, September 18, 2015

Have your developers look at the @media CSS 3.1 styles. There is a way to define sets of styles for different screen sizes. If you need an example, send me off-site, and I will look into getting you one. In either case, I lock my phone because I don't like it when apps determine the way I use my phone. I have had some websites flip my phone around because the site designer thought it a good idea. Locking prevents this. Now, the only way the lock is ignored is when the phone determines landscape is needed.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Friday, September 18, 2015

I use an iPhone 5 and keep it locked. As many others have already stated, if the app truly needs the landscape mode then it will auto-switch it.

Submitted by Paige on Thursday, December 17, 2015

My phone is always locked and I have an iPhone 5s

Submitted by Rolando Jr Ogayon on Thursday, December 17, 2015


I always locked my iPhone6 to portrait mode.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Thursday, December 17, 2015

I don't lock my phone. This is because there are some apps I prefer to use in landscape mode, such as messages or Safari. I think the reason for this is when I first got my iPhone in 2010 the only keyboard available was the standard qwerty on-screen keyboard (I'm not a bluetooth keyboards man). I found it very difficult to use that keyboard with the phone in portrait so switched to landscape. now my brain operates on the 'I've always done it this way' basis. I don't personally find it confusing. I'm clearly in a minority on this one though.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another more practical rather than psychological advantage to keeping the phone unlocked: there are some apps that display more information when the phone is in landscape mode. An example is the ECB Cricket app, and I think most cricket scores apps. With ECB cricket, in portrait the phone displays an abbreviated version of the scorecard where you can see how a batsman was dismissed, his score and how many balls he faced. In landscape you can see what you would more regularly expect on a scorecard, namely all of the above plus how many fours and sixes he hit, the length of his innings in minutes, and his strike rate. The bowling figures are similarly extended wiht a change of orientation. Certainly this extended info is something I find extremely helpful. ECB Cricket is the only concrete example of this I can call to mind at the moment, but I'd have thought there are others.

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hi! Ever since I got my first iPhone backin 2011, I've always had it locked in portrait mode, for several reasons: at first I had trouble changing the orientation, so back then, with so much to learn anyway, I found it more convenient to stay in portrait mode, and that's suited me so it's been the same ever since; Another reason for it being more convenient for me to stay in portrait mode is that I've always used SpeedDots screen protectors, both on my iPhone 4S and the iPhone 6 I have now, and the standard protector has the dots on it in positions for using portrait mode. Some apps automatically switch to landscape mode when they are opened, usually games, but I can cope with that, and when I close those apps i get back to the familiar portrait mode anyway.

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Portrait for me too, most definitely. when I first got my iPod touch back in 2012 it kept changing from landscape to portrait, and it got totally confusing to me as a new iOS user at the time. It just made sense to me to lock the orientation, because as so many other people have already said, the phone will change to landscape if an app needs it to.

Submitted by Diane on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Locked in portrait. If I ever need to, it is easy to unlock in control center.

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, October 15, 2018

I only use Portrait Mode too for now. That is what my tech tutor at Second Sense recommended, and I'm glad he did. I actually tried out Braille Screen Input just briefly, and for that my iPhone switched to Landscape mode. But that was pretty confusing for me, so I went back to Portrait mode and that's where I've stayed ever since. When I get quicker on the iPhone I might try out Landscape mode more. I am a Locker as well, and Touch ID makes it so much easier. There've been times when I've gotten in my passcode on the first try and beat the clock, but still I prefer Touch ID and wish there was a way to only use that permanently. I'm progressing bit by bit in the learning department though, so perhaps I might be pleasantly surprised one of these days.

Submitted by Andromache on Monday, October 15, 2018

I lock my phone in portrait mode. I've tried having it unlocked, and then if you tilt the phone or even turn it a little, it'll switch orientations and just becomes a hassle. I also don't like how the spacing between elements changes. Everything becomes wider but not as tall, and I find this disorienting.

I don't mind if a particular app forces the phone into Landscape. It happens rarely and I know it'll go back once I pause the app.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Monday, October 15, 2018

I also have my iPhone lock into portrait mode. Whenever an app needs landscape, such as Netflix, the device will automatically switch it accordingly. Once the app is no longer in use, the device switches back. I did not like the iPhone constantly switching between modes and when I found the ability to lock it into portrait mode, I haven't looked back.

Submitted by techluver on Monday, October 15, 2018

I have an iPhone x. I've been locking since my very first 3gs, and i'm so used to it now that I still have my x locked.