How To Set Up Android 12’s Smarter Auto-Rotate & Keep The Screen From Flipping
In Android 12, Google made Auto-Rotate smarter, mostly fixing the annoying issue of unwanted orientation flipping when lying down sideways.
Google made everyone’s life a little bit easier with a new option in Android 12 that is more intelligent when rotating the screen from portrait to landscape modes. This will be most appreciated when lying down sideways since this often triggers the phone to position text and photos as if the user is still upright. There are ways to deal with this in earlier versions of Android but none work as well as the new option.
Android 12 is currently available in a beta release, meaning it is technically pre-release software that probably shouldn’t be installed on a device that is critical to daily life. Beta versions of an operating system have new features but are more likely to have errors and behave unexpectedly. That said, it has reached what is known as the ‘Platform Stability’ stage which means developers are testing their apps with this version and Android 12 is expected to be complete soon.
Google finally updated Android with an Auto-Rotate option that mostly solves one of the most annoying issues with smartphones, which is the screen flipping unexpectedly from a readable angle to its side. A similar problem is just the reverse of this, the screen not rotating when expected. The setting is in the same place as Auto-Rotate has always been located, under Display, which is easily found by opening the Settings app, then scrolling down to find that section or by typing ‘display’ in the search field at the top. Even if Auto-Rotate shows as being on, tapping that control will reveal more options. ‘Use Auto-Rotate’ and ‘Enable Face Detection’ should both be switched on to use this new feature. The images are not sent or stored by Google, so using this feature is not a privacy concern.
Android 12’s Auto-Rotate: Smarter, Not Perfect
Google did make its automatic screen rotation much smarter in Android 12, but it still isn’t perfect. By using the selfie camera to identify the orientation of the user’s face, Auto-Rotate can be overridden when it is triggered to change orientation. That means lying down sideways then tilting the phone on its side will result in the screen orientation working just like it should, not flipping the wrong way. Text and photos will appear in the correct orientation for the viewer. Tilting the phone first, however, triggers the rotation before lying down and Android is no longer checking to see if the face alignment matches. In other words, things can still go wrong.
Another type of confusion comes if the phone is tipped onto its back, such as when placing it on a desk or tabletop. This may or may not affect the accelerometer data, depending upon how the phone is handled and orientation might shift to something other than what the user wants. Face detection works as a block against the old automatic rotation, not a full-time correction that always keeps the screen aligned with the user’s face. This would be too demanding of a process to keep running constantly and reduce battery life. While not an ideal answer to this problem, face detection does improve Auto-Rotate and is worth consideration.
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