Both on the iPad and the iPhone, some apps work better in landscape mode. Some work better in portrait mode. That’s fair, and that’s fine.
But sometimes, I’m holding my iDevice one way. Perhaps it’s in the iPad Keyboard Dock. Perhaps I just launched an app and then picked up my greasy slice of pizza, and thus can’t touch the device again until I’ve cleaned my hands.
If I have my iPad in landscape mode and launch Words With Friends, I shouldn’t be stuck staring at a sideways game board. Same goes for Strategery. And if I’m holding my iPhone in portrait mode, I shouldn’t be stuck staring at, say, Monkey Preschool Lunchbox on its side.
Developers, I know it’s no small request, but your app should rotate. Apple’s own (lamely iPhone-only) Hold ‘Em app sports two completely different views: In portrait, you see video shots of your opponents as they choose to fold, bet, or check. You can even catch visual tells from time to time. In landscape, you get an overhead view of the table and see only the players’ moves, not their facial tics.
Knowing that the iPad or iPhone has been rotated and ignoring it seems rude. Let me decide how I’m holding it. I don’t mind if the experience of Words With Friends horizontally is crappier than vertically — maybe I can just see the board, but not my tiles or the score. But if an app doesn’t respect the device’s orientation, it doesn’t respect me. Don’t betray my hands.