RIM: Disable the Storm's auto rotating main screen, please


I have been using a BlackBerry Storm for about a month now and have came to like the phone. While I don’t have an iPhone love affair going on, it’s a solid phone I wouldn’t not recommended. (understand?) It has its quarks like any phone, but the single most annoying feature could – and should – be resolved by Research in Motion.

You see the Storm auto rotates everything unlike the iPhone where only certain apps switch to landscape view. That’s fine with me for apps and such. Auto rotating the main menu/app menu doesn’t add any usability and in fact, is frustratingly annoying. Half the time the phone takes a few seconds to change orientation causing random bad thoughts to race through my head while the phone decides what to do. But mainly, there is no reason to have the home screen rotate and RIM needs to address this aggravating trademark of the Storm.

The BlackBerry Storm has square-like icons just like the iPhone and the beauty of these squarish icons is that you can tell what they are no matter how you are looking at them. The Twitter app still looks like the Twitter app when viewed on its side. The same thing goes for the Calendar, Contacts, Messages, all of them really cause they are square.

Listen, I would not have an issue with the auto-rotating thing if the Storm were fast enough to rotate. But when you pull the phone out of your pocket to make a quick call, you shouldn’t have to wait for the phone to decide which way it’s going to orientate itself and then allowing you into the phone dialing app.

This should be an easy fix by RIM. Just give users an option in the Homescreen Preferences to disable this action. Maybe some people like the feature, but a quick look at BlackBerry forum sites will turn up dozens of threads ranting about the same thing.

Other than that annoying feature and typing on a touchscreen, I have been pleasantly surprised by the Storm. The early reviews blasted the touchscreen BlackBerry, but if you’re bound to stay with VZW for some odd reason, the Storm isn’t that bad. Or you could wait for the 9630.