Tired of your iPhone automatically rotating the screen every time you accidentally tilt your phone just a little more than you meant to? There’s an app for that. Or rather, an OS update. Apple launched a new beta version of iPhone OS 4.0 for developers today, and one of the pleasant surprises tucked away in this build is the ability to lock the screen orientation so that the display doesn’t rotate every time the phone does.

This comes in handy if you’re using an iPhone in bed or while lying on the couch. If you’ve ever tried reading web sites on your iPhone or iPod touchwhile on your side, you know that the most comfortable way to hold the mobile device is at a bit of an angle — which can cause it to keep shifting between portrait and landscape mode every time you move your hand just a bit.

Other features in iPhone OS 4 beta 3 include:

  • An easier way to close multiple apps from the multitasking drawer
  • Audio playback controls that let you play, pause, or skip music tracks without closing out of your currently running app

A few hours after Apple made iPhone OS 4 beta 3 available for download, the company pulled it off the shelf. It’s not clear whether there were still some kinks to work out or if it simply wasn’t ready for for public consumption yet and went out a little early. But you can find more details from the folks at Gizmodo and MobileCrunch who already managed to snag the new beta.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

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