Unsung iPhone video-playing improvement

One of the things I disliked about the iPhone’s video-playing was how it forced me to hold the iPhone with the earphone cord coming out of the lower left side.

This was annoying because the cord pointed right at the web of skin between my thumb and index finger, and I had to keep a loose grip with my left hand to avoid bending the cord too sharply. It also put the volume control button on the bottom of the phone where it was harder to get to.

You would think that a simple 180° rotation would solve both problems, and it would, but the 1.x iPhone software didn’t allow it; you’d just get an upside-down picture. So it was a pleasant surprise when I accidentally discovered last night that the 2.0 software allows you hold your iPhone in either landscape view.

Now the cord exits over the top of my thumb and the volume button is near my index finger.1


Update 8/5/08
The above applies only to videos played through the iPod app. The iPhone’s YouTube player still forces you to orient the phone the old way. Maybe that’ll be fixed in version 3.0.


  1. The two photos don’t illustrate the way I hold the iPhone while watching video. I normally hold in in both hands, sort of like a book I’m reading. But I needed one hand free to snap the photo. The video playing is from MIT’s Classical Mechanics course lectures