If you’ve been an owner of Apple’s Plus line of iPhones, you’ve been able to turn the device on its side and the home screen icons would automatically rotate into a landscape mode display.
But now after the release of a larger version of the iPhone XS design by Apple, you’re out of luck. The phone’s home screen no longer rotates horizontally.
Even more unfortunate, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature that has no solution.
Landscape mode on an iPhone appeared initially with the 6 Plus and landscape mode for the home screen was at first seen in Apple’s iPad tablet.
An Apple representative confirmed that landscape mode is not available on the Max, but did not state why. However, from what some users have been informed, the iPhone XS Max will not be able to rotate due to Face ID. Apparently having something to do with the cameras being fixed in portrait mode and not being able to recognize facial features in landscape. So they enable the user to use landscape everywhere else like messages, and settings etc. but just not on the actual home screen of the phone.
It could maybe have something to do with the notch, the black bar present at the top of the iPhone X-style phones that includes sensors, cameras, and speakers. The centered notch breaks up the status bar into right and left sides, a pattern that would create problems if the Max rotated on its side.
However, landscape mode still remains available in apps that previously supported it, including Safari, Mail, Messages, Calendar, Maps, Photos, the Camera and more. Apps not supportive of it are Music and the App Store. And it’s also still available in the third party apps where developers have already chosen to support it.
Because Apple didn’t comment on the home screen behavior change on the Max, many users reported it on tech support forums as a defect.
But when contacted, Apple support representatives have been informing users that the feature no longer exists.
The iPhone XS Max is not yet designed to rotate for now and the email app is designed to not work in the same manner as the plus size phones.
Hopefully, they will revert the issue in future iOS updates.