I suggest ...

Landscape mode: rotating icons/widgets individually ("transpose") instead of the whole home screen layout

It has been challenging how to make landscape mode more usable because:
1. arranging home screen is a time consuming task. user would prefer doing once only, but not repeating for all orientation
2. tablet screen is rectangle, not square. so after changing orientation, the spacing, margin and etc all changed

It seems that currently Apex Launcher tries to let user to define the row x column size for each of the landscape/portraits mode. it's a workaround but there are some problems with this
- users need to make the best layout by try and error as they have totally no idea about the spacing and margin settings
- icons/widget at near margin may get out of the screen when changing orientation.
- due to the space available for each icon changed too, some icons may have their top and bottom "cropped".

Recently Google released Android 4.1.2 with better landscape mode support in the default home screen. I tried that for a while and found that it solves the problems quite well by doing a little tricks - each icon/widget is rotated individually.

try to illustrate with diagrams...
portraits mode (e.g. 4x5):
1122
1122
xx22
xx22
3456

after rotating counter clockwise to landscape mode (i.e. 5x4), it will become a "Transpose" of the original screen
22226
22225
11xx4
11xx3

Instead, Apex Launcher is now doing like this:
1122x
1122x
xx22x
xx22x

this is understandable because this scheme is easier to implement (e.g. internally simply store a 5x5 layout and show the appropriate slices of it when switching orientation). but obviously the problem is that the last line of widget is gone out of screen. while Android 4.2 default home screen's way is obviously more neat and usable. only challenge may be that widgets (e.g. numbered with 2 in the above diagrams) needs to be aware of size chang (e.g. from 2x4 to 4x2) to redraw properly. but that shouldn't be a problem because widgets got that capability since Android 4.1.

maybe Apex Launcher can also try to adopt this scheme?

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    kennethtkennetht shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

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