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):
after rotating counter clockwise to landscape mode (i.e. 5x4), it will become a "Transpose" of the original screen
Instead, Apex Launcher is now doing like this:
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?
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 Lencevicius commented
Please fix this. Its a major issue on tablets since the change from landscape to portrait makes a massive difference.
Jeff 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 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
Andreas Koepke commented
Please have a look at this other suggestion: http://apexlauncher.uservoice.com/forums/146396-apex-general-feedback/suggestions/3360939-rotate-search-dock-in-landscape-from-top-bottom-to
The way that the 4.2 launcher does it is really neat and works well.
Joseph Theodorsen commented
Totally agree. Landscape really messes up on my S3