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?

86 votes
Vote
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    I agree to the terms of service
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    kennethtkennetht shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    6 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      I agree to the terms of service
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • SamSam commented  · 

        Agreed. On my tablet, I use 4x5 for homescreen portrait and I simply assumed that if I use 5x4 for landscape the icons would rearrange accordingly (like it does perfectly in the app drawer). They don't however, icons in the 5th row portrait just disappear in landscape because there isn't a 5th row in landscape. 20 icons (4x5, every slot full) in portrait becomes 16 icons in landscape with a bunch of gaps. This is a paid product too. Please fix this.

      • Ronald LenceviciusRonald Lencevicius commented  · 

        Please fix this. Its a major issue on tablets since the change from landscape to portrait makes a massive difference.

      • Jeff HansonJeff Hanson commented  · 

        This is my #1 problem with apex. You spend a lot of time in landscape for games or video, the homescreen needs to autorotate properly.

        This means transposing the icon grid layout when flipping from portrait to landscape.

        Without doing that icons end up off screen in 1 mode or the other. Or you make them the same RxC and spacing and icon size make landscape barely usable.

        It's such a trivial thing to do, and if it's a setting there's no reason to not have it in the next update. It's ridiculous that it hadn't happened after over a year already.

      • Harry MurphyHarry Murphy commented  · 

        Please fix this issue. I've been struggling for a long time to find a way of organizing for both portrait and landscape orientations. A couple more solutions:

        1) Allow me to choose which rows are cut off (or at least whether it cuts from the top or the bottom)
        2) Allow the option to have completely different layouts for horizontal and verticle

      Feedback and Knowledge Base