The orientation lock is an easily overlooked option in iOS/iPadOS Control Center that lets you prevent apps from rotating their view when your device detects it’s turned a corner. This can be useful when viewing a video, reading a book, or engaging in other activities that you don’t want to have the app reformat from portrait to landscape or landscape to portrait.
FaceTime honors the orientation lock in a way that might confuse other people: they always see your locked orientation. If you don’t remember that you have orientation lock enabled, other participants in a call may think it’s their fault that they can’t get you in the right direction.
With rotation lock off, you can rotate your device, and you see both yourself in the inset preview in the correct orientation to your iPhone or iPad, and the other person or participants also see you the right way up.
However, enable rotation lock and rotate your phone or tablet 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise (or even 180 degrees upside down), and while you rotate in your preview, the view other people have of you is the original orientation—so you’re sideways or upside down.
Their response would likely be to rotate their device to get you into the right position, but when they do that, FaceTime on their iPhone or iPad rotates you again to the “right” position relative to what you’re transmitting. The illustration might help.
How to stay the right way up in FaceTime
The solution is simple:
- Swipe to reveal the Control Center.
- Tap the orientation lock to disable it (it will be black, not white, once disabled)
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Maggie.
We have lots more advice about using FaceTime including:
- How to use FaceTime links to call Android or Windows users
- How to set up a FaceTime call in advance
- How to use FaceTime Audio for a high-quality voice call
- How to block spam FaceTime calls
- How to make group FaceTime calls
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